Life’s a Struggle
Susie E. Caron © 3/19/16
It’s a struggle to be nice
Calm, peaceful, serene
When all the world about you
Seems bent on being mean
It’s a struggle to be myself
When I’m often told I'm not
And others look right past me
Without a caring thought
Life’s a struggle
We all know it
But it’s worth it
You must know
And I hope to touch your heart once
Or maybe twice, before I go.
I am with you in this struggle
And see every effort that you make
I’m walking right beside you
And know every breath you take
I will help you in your struggles
See you through each and every one
I will hold you in my arms Dear
As each struggling day is done
And when your time is over
For struggling on this Earth
I will bring you safe to Heaven
To the Home of your new birth.
Where all your struggling ceases
And New Songs we shall sing
In Praises to our Savior
Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
I’m The Mama!
Susie Caron © 3/4/16
Who’s the Mama in your house? I don’t mean who is called Mommy, Mother, or Mom. I’m asking if your kids know, without any wavering or doubt, that you (and your spouse) are in charge. If you hesitate to respond with a resounding “Yes!” then read this and I’ll show you why you’ll want to take charge!!!
I have a friend I’ve known for many years. She is just a great mom as evidenced by her happy, active kids who are also easy to be around. She told me that when they were little, her children often asked her to play with them. However, her daughter really wanted to play dolls and her son wanted her to spend time building blocks with him. She told me she would respond this way: “I won’t play dolls or building blocks with you, but if you want to play board games, puzzles or paint, then I’m your Mamma!”
I love that statement. “I’m your Mamma.” And I love that she was clear with them, about what she would and would not do. Then she told me this: “It’s good to play with my kids but I still get to be myself.” I love that about her too.
My friend communicated these messages with her kids, verbally but also through her attitude. She made it clear: First that she was in charge and second that she was honest by being true to herself with them.
When she said or indicated “I’m your Mama,” it told them she was in charge.
Kids need to know the parent is in charge.When parents make it clear that they are in charge of their home and confident in their decisions, their kids feel more secure.
She also honored herself, by being honest about what she’d be happy to do with them. Her honesty helped her kids gained the confidence to be honest about themselves too.Kids need honesty from their parents. Parents benefit too by being decisive and clear because it reduces resentment. Resentment can easily damage the parent-child relationship.
Do you make firm decisions and stick by them?
Do you get to be yourself?
It really helps both you and your kids when you do.
Don’t be afraid. You will not ‘mess up’ your kids by making firm decisions, that let you be you, (and perhaps help to save your sanity).
Don’t be afraid that you will ‘mess up’ the kids if you won’t play, or you say the wrong thing.
And, don’t be afraid of your kids either.
When you waffle about being in charge, or being honest, your kids feel uncertain too. That’s when and why they start to take over. They feel an instinctive need for ‘somebody to be in charge.” If you’re not in charge, then they have to be.
Start today to make parenting decisions based upon the clear notion that you are the parent and it’s not only your right but also your responsibility to make decisions about what your kids get to do, or need to do?
Start today to be yourself. (They say everyone else is taken anyway.) Be honest, get real and teach your kids how to be real too. This is also a good time to teach them to be polite and tactful as well as honest.
In everything you do or say, you can teach your kids how the real world works. The world won’t give in to their every whim. You don’t need to either. Parenting decisively and at the same time honoring your own personality, is your job. It’s your right and your responsibility. So give it your best, without fear, and your kids have a chance of growing up secure, confident and real.
Here's an idea for you: Write "I'm the Mama (or Daddy)" on one side of a small card. On the other side write, "I tell the truth." Carry it with you and read it often. With some practice you’ll soon be on your way.
Twee’ means you and me
Working together to take charge and raise secure, honest kids.
PS Are you getting your needs met? Listen to next week's "Building Parents & Good Kids" podcast episode #12, "Mommy Needs" for some helpful suggestions: Click for iTunes
Or here: if you prefer Stitcher Radio:
Why Resolutions Don't Work & This Will
by Susie E. Caron (c) 1/2/16
Every year people make "New Year's Resolutions," to improve something. So why don't their 'resolutions' ever stick? This is a terrible cycle and when you don't reach your goals, how do you feel? Most of us feel like we failed. In this article I reveal the reason and offer you a solution that has worked for me.
First, let's look at the word resolution.
When you resolve to do something it means you've made your mind up about it and you plan to do it. It also usually involves setting goals to measure your success. But something has to be wrong, because every year the same goals are set - lose weight, exercise more, get healthy, spend more time with loved ones, and on and on, and that are never reached.
"A resolution doesn't work, because it's a trap you set for yourself."
Why, oh why in the world, with all the pressure around you to perform, would you lay out something, namely 'resolutions', to make sure you fail?
Maybe you need a different word.
This is what I did.
I hate feeling like I've let myself down. So instead of setting traps for myself. I asked myself what I wanted. When I wanted to feel healthy or energetic, I asked myself, "How can I get those?" I answered by scheduling in a particular kind of exercise. In the summer I do what fits in with my daily life (garden and horseback ride) and in the winter I do something else (use equipment and workout in my home.) These work for me because I enjoy them.....well not the winter ones, but I'm motivated so I can continue to do the things I really enjoy in the summer.
When I asked, "What can I do to stop gaining weight as I 'mature'?" I realized I couldn't eat the same portions at 60 as I had when I was 20. So I wrote down the things I really enjoyed eating, cross referenced with what was also healthy, and started a pattern that has really worked for me. In fact over the next 5 years, I lost 25 of the 30 pounds I'd gained in my early 50's while I attended graduate school. I don't deprive myself at all because I make sure to include my craving for 2 dark chocolates every day!!! (Don't tell anyone. I've got them hidden, because they are just for me.)
Come on! Change the way you think. Stop setting traps for yourself. Instead of 'resolving' to do this or that hard thing, why not just think about what you WANT?
That's not so hard is it?
Please share this article. Stop the yearly maddness. Help me get the word out to help people do what they want this year.
Happy, Happy News Year to You and Your Family
Twee' Means You and Mean
Getting better every day.
Tis the Season I Shout Out a Great Big Thank You to Parents.
by Susie E. Caron (c) 12/13/15
Raising kids today is more difficult than ever before. However, parents are doing an incredible job. I am grateful for parents. That's why I am personally saying,
“Thank You, Parents!"
Today I am thanking parents for doing the most important job in the world, bar none. There is no job more important. No job is physically, intellectually, or emotionally more important than parenting children - the world's children - and the world's next generation of parents. What could be more important than this? There is one more, but I'll get to that.
Parents, I thank you for tackling all the demands of raising your kids. No matter how your children came into your home, you engage in an incredibly demanding job. Child care is demanding in itself. Add the duties of housekeeping, work responsibilities, career building, and taking care of yourself, makes child care even harder. I often wonder how you get anything accomplished. Yet you do them all and you do them well, including caring for your children.
Whew! Isn't this the busiest time of the year for parents?
The Holidays and Christmas time are the busiest seasons for everyone, but especially for parents. That's one reason I thank you for everything you are doing right now. I'll bet you are busier than anyone else. I believe you are even busier than candidates currently running for nomination for president. But, the job you do is far more important than theirs because you are engaged in raising up people - the next generation of adults. You are engaged in training your young to become responsible citizens and contribute good to their own families, society and the world. You do all that even during this season and throughout the year because you care.
You are especially important to your kids, but also to the world.
I wish I could personally thank each of you for everything you do to fashion, teach, train, help, correct, care for, your kids, our kids, the world’s kids. I had to write this article to say that I know and I care about you and the incredible job of parenting, in which you engage. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. With all my heart. Thank you. But, this isn’t enough.
You need something more.
Remember I said there was one more thing more important than taking good care of your kids? To do a really good job of taking care of kids, you also must take good care of yourself. It’s not selfish. It’s your responsibility! Parenting is the most important job in which you engage, but if you don’t take care of yourself, pretty soon, you won’t have time, energy or desire to take good care of your kids. You've got to spend time taking good care of yourself too. To take care of yourself means taking time out for you, doing something you enjoy, without your kids, and time to spend alone with your spouse. You are so important I'd like to give you something.
My Gift To You.
Right now, during the busiest time of your year, I want to give you something to thank you for the wonderful job you do of raising your kids.
It may seem like a funny gift, but I believe it's the best gift I can give you right now.
I give you the gift of PERMISSION to take time for you, and time with your spouse. Don't wait to do this. Sit down and block out dates and times for you and for you and your spouse right on your 2016 calendar. Set it up for at least one time each week. If your kids are really little, you may need to tag team and provide short spots of time away from your kids daily. Whatever you need, please plan for it. Take care of yourself and your relationship with your spouse. You’ll be much happier, your kids will be happier, and you can continue doing a good job raising your kids, the worlds kids, for all people.
Thank you for being you and for doing the most important job in the world. I appreciate you.
Please share this article with your friends on FB, Tw, and P. If you know a parent, (and we all do) take some time and tell them how much you appreciate them. What else can you do to help a parent get self-care time or time with their spouse. Leave a comment and share it with other readers here.
Twee’ means you and me
Together we can raise good kids.
How to Get Respect!
by Susie E. Caron (c) 12/8/15
Rodney Dangerfield coined the statement, "I don't get no respect." He projected the life of a loser, and it became his tag line, and brand. Funny? Sure! Unless you're a parent and your kids disrespect you.
As a parent, you are engaged in the most important job of all - raising your kids to be responsible adults who contribute to life in your family, local community, country and the world. There is no more important job on earth! The job you do is so worthy of respect and admiration, it's absolutely necessary that you teach your kids to respect you, and to carry this enduring respect within them.
You are not a loser and you deserve respect.
You deserve the respect of your spouse.
You deserve the respect of you kids.
You deserve the respect of your family, friends, coworkers, boss, and acquaintances.
So how do you get respect, especially from your children?
First you determine today to fully respect yourself. I know that sometimes we all do things or act in ways or neglect to do things that we feel make us deserve respect. This isn't about that. You're human. Humans make mistakes all the time. Get over it. You have to, because today you will begin to respect yourself so much that whenever you speak to anyone, kids, spouse, adults, coworkers, boss, waitress, taxi driver, receptionist, phone clerk, etc. etc., you speak to them with RESPECT because you absolutely RESPECT yourself.
This is the decision you make:
"I RESPECT myself. That's why, from this moment forward, I will speak respectfully to every person I encounter, including my kids, whether they act like they deserve it or not."
Respect isn't about another persons deserving it. It's about YOU DESERVING IT.
You must respect yourself so much that you would never lower yourself to disrespect anyone, including your kids.
This is how kids learn to respect you.
You command respect because you are worthy of respect.
You command (not 'demand') your kid's respect when you fully respect yourself.
You command their respect when you interact with, and speak respectfully to them.
You command their respect when you conduct yourself with respect.
You command respect because you are a human of unique and wonderful design.
You command your kids respect because of all this and because and you are their parent. That's enough.
What do you do when Kid's speak disrespectfully to you?
Stop what you are doing, turn fully toward them and say, "I don't speak disrespectfully to you and I won't tolerate or hear you speak disrespectfully to me. Now ask (or tell) me in a better way." (Rinse and repeat or don't respond until you are spoken to respectfully.)
When I began to do this, my life began to change. I believe yours will too.
So begin today to respect yourself and watch what happens.
If you found this helpful, sign up HERE for email updates about my new parenting book, to be released winter 2015.
Twee' Means You & Me ,
You deserve Respect.
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.
What do Mommies Need?
by Susie Caron © 10/4/15
Mommies’ daily duties are never ending.
They work, give, struggle, try, comfort, feed, give again, rock, chauffer, cook, phone, pay, organize, read, tuck in, wake up, teach, and many more things. It’s amazing.
Mommies are miracles at work.
Mommies want their kids to grow up.
They look forward to when their kids get big enough to take care of more responsibilities on their own, think for themselves, stay safe, have fun, become adults, move out and make themselves happy, responsible contributors of society. Mommies look for signs that these things are indeed happening and they worry, teach, correct and comfort when they don’t.
Mommies are guardians of the next generation.
Mommies wish their kids would just stay little.
They secretly wish their kids could live with them as their own, adorable little children forever. Mommies laugh at their antics, cry with them, kiss away hurts, hug them, rock them and read to them just to cuddle one more time. Sometimes, when kids say they don’t want hugs and kisses, Mommies resort to other ways to connect with their kids. They arm wrestle, give head rubs and shoulder bumps, pool- noodle sword fight, wrestle on the floor, swim, pillow fight, bike ride, or swing in the park.
Mommies are in touch with what their kids need.
But Mommies struggle to get their own needs met.
Mommies work in the most important job of their lives – raising children. They concentrate on this so much, that most of the time, they put themselves and their own needs aside. They also worry about how they are doing as a parent and how their kids will turn out, and they doubt that what they are doing is ever enough.
But, what do Mommies need?
Mommies need love, support and encouragement.
But how can they get this?
They start by taking time to take care of themselves.
Mommies who engage in a little self-care, like visiting friends, exercising at the gym, taking art or music lessons, find that they also receive some love, support and encouragement from others. These Mommies discover they are healthier, happier and automatically take better care of their children.
When Mommies don’t take the time, they miss out on something vital.
These Mommies will have to fight their own usual hectic way of operating each day in order to get their needs met. When they say, “I just don’t have the time,” their relatives and friends may misinterpret this to mean “I don’t have the time for you.” So then the love, support and encouragement Mommies need, may not come automatically, or when it’s really needed.
When Mommies do take care of themselves lots of things work out better.
Mommies who engage in some kind of exercise, eat as healthy as possible, spend a little time with friends, and on date night with Dad for example, feel better, sleep better and connect much better with their kids. While they engage in these things, they find opportunities to debrief with friends, relatives, and spouse and receive love, support and encouragement. There is another bonus: by taking a little time to do something good for themselves, they communicate to their kids that it’s okay to take good care of themselves too. That’s an important life skill.
You probably know all this. So why did I write this article?
I want to challenge you today.
Take just 6 minutes for a quick eye opening exercise.
Do this right now. Don’t put it off. You and your kids are too important.
Take a large sheet of clean paper, divide it in half.
Divide just the bottom in half again.
Now write these headings on each part:
On the top write: Everything I do, responsibilities and duties.
On the left bottom write: What I do for me.
On the right bottom write: What I want to do to take care of me.
Set the timer for 3 minutes and fill in the top half of the page with your duties. Write fast and don’t stop until the timer rings.
Set the timer for 1 minute each to fill in the two bottom sections. Write fast and don’t stop until the timer rings.
Take the final minute and look at all that you have written.
What did you learn from this exercise?
Challenge Yourself Today.
Pick out at least one self-care item that you’d really like to do and know you can do it this week. Put it on your appointment calendar and enjoy taking good care of yourself. It’s a good step toward getting what you need.
"Mommies need to take time for self-care, to be healthier, happier Mommies."
Tell me what you do to take good care of yourself and what benefits do you see.
Please take a second to click and share this article with your friends on social.
Twee’ means you and me
Working together to be happy healthy Mommies.
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!