Blogs

Mary Mazzoni
Did you know that the Paralympics Games are making headlines in London and are being featured on Prime Time TV in many countries.

TV coverage of the Games is limited in the US - but you and your family can watch wonderful video of the Paralympics at http://www.youtube.com/user/ParalympicSportTV

You can also check out the schedule of events and watch events live at http://www.paralympic.org/

Frankly - I almost never watch television. But I love watching the Paralympics!

Have you and your family been following the Games?
Tara Kennedy-Kline
I woke up to a beautiful, sunny morning. The birds sang outside my window and I could hear my husband already washing dishes and taking care of the morning chores...it was perfect! My life seems really perfect...so then why do I keep crying?

First I cried because my youngest son woke up screaming at me for no apparent reason.
Then, I cried because my husband barked at me out of frustration for being to “easy” on the kid (even though I was doing my best).
I cried because I had to spend 30 minutes trying to get my son to come in the house after he ran.
I cried because I had to cancel yet another meeting to drive him to school.
I cried because I look like Hell and I have to go into the school.
I cried because my husband walked out the door in a bad mood, without a kiss or even an “I love you”.
I cried because the secretary at the school told me “it’s only going to get worse next year...we coddle them here and that won’t happen in Middle School.”
I cried because I turned on the radio and listened to the latest “mommy wars” debate & I got so frustrated with parents who have “typical” kids finding reasons to complain about them or overreact or judge each other’s parenting...and they can’t see how GREAT they have it!

...I cried because, today, I don’t understand my son. Because he has autism, so I can’t teach him, and guide him and reason with him and calm him and discipline him and negotiate with him like other kids...and other moms.

I cried because sometimes it is just so hard and I feel like it shouldn’t be. Because just once, I want to yell and put my foot down and tell him “This is ridiculous and YES, it’s not fair but I need you to just LISTEN to me!”...and without hitting, or swearing or screaming or running or breaking anything...to hear him just say “Ok Mom”.

But let's face it; that’s not going to happen today. What is going to happen today is the sun will keep shining, my kids and my husband will come home smiling and having forgotten all about this morning, and in our "perfectly imperfect" life, this will end up being a "good day".
Tara Kennedy-Kline
As a work from home mom of 2 boys, one of which is on the autism spectrum, I spend a great deal of time on line looking up the latest tips, techniques and strategies for being the best parent I can be for my kids…but what I have come to find all too often are nasty, lashing, mean spirited comments to otherwise benign, opinion based articles written by intelligent, well meaning authors.

It seems that topics like "breast feeding", “the family bed” and “potty training” have hit some kind of personal nerve and everyone, whether they are parents or not, have suddenly grown the most amazing set of internet balls ever and are unleashing their venom on anyone who has an opposing opinion or is unaware of a personal tragedy that happened to them when they were 2 years old and has scarred them for life.

Really people? Is this what our “village” of parenting has come to? Insult, ridicule and judgment over topics that truly will not have any effect on your life at all whatsoever?…

My beef is the fact that there are children in our country who are still being abused, both physically and verbally in their homes on a daily basis…there are children being neglected, starved and even killed by the people who are supposed to be raising and protecting them and we have the audacity to tear each other up on line over whether or not we should be allowed to take our kids on an airplane?!?!? We have no problem ripping parents a new one if they dare to let their child run in the isles of a grocery store yet the person next door to at least one of us is refusing their child meals and locking them in a closet as punishment…and in those situations, when a child truly NEEDS you and your big mouth could finally make a difference...suddenly those big internet balls shrink up like you jumped into a cold shower…

You know what? The next time you feel compelled to talk smack on a mother who chooses to give her child a pacifier…think about all the babies who are being shaken or beaten for crying too much, then bite your tongue; Because in the grand scheme of things…Those of us who are looking for information on line are simply doing the best we can with the information, resources and support we have available. So if your comments aren’t offering me one of those things, then all they are meant to do is give you 2 minutes of underserved fame, so keep them to yourself.

Bottom line: If you comment critics are such “child advocates” with such big opinions and big mouths…how about using that big voice to start a campaign for children that really matters…and put your money where your mouse is.
Tara Kennedy-Kline
Liar, thief, bully, smart mouth, recluse, rebel...labels parents never want to hear attached to their children, yet chances are, it’s the parents themselves who’ve created them.

These “labels” are more accurately known as “behaviors”, and human behaviors stem from emotions. In other words, “The way we FEEL determines how we ACT”.

Since children are human...it stands to reason that their actions and behaviors stem from their emotions and how they feel as well.

If your child is acting out in a way that is undesirable or negative, chances are, they are feeling bad, scared, angry or frustrated about something (or many things) in their life...since they don’t have the same options as adults in similar situations, they act out or lash out to get their feelings out.

For example: If you are a parent, you probably have another adult person in your life. If that person is disrespectful, hurtful, angry or even physically violent toward you...you have options. You can tell them off, you can fight with them, you can have an adult conversation with them, you can choose to not be in relationship with them and/or you can leave. Our children have NONE of those options...

Now, can you imagine the anger and frustration you would feel if the person you lived with had total control over you? What you ate, when you slept, who you were friends with, what you wore, how you were allowed to talk and what you were allowed to do...ALL THE TIME!!! And if you dared to disagree or argue or not comply, you would be punished or disciplined...Can you imagine if that person were allowed to yell at you, insult you, embarrass you or even hit you when you did something they felt was wrong or inappropriate?

How would you react to that person? What would your relationship look like with him or her? Would you trust them? Would you lie? Would you hide mistakes? Would you refuse to speak to them or choose to speak to them with rudeness? Would you sneak the things you wanted? Would you fight back...or fight with others? Would you shut down? Would you run away?

These are all normal reactions that as adults we can see ourselves doing...but in children, we label those reactions as “issues” and we look to treat, medicate or discipline them.
I see this behavior as treating the symptom instead of the disease. If the cause of the pain in our leg is diabetes...do we take asprin for the pain, or do we treat the diabetes?

I’m not suggesting for a moment that children be allowed to roam free and have no guidance or accountability...but I am suggesting that when we engage in correcting our children, we should also be thinking about how we would react as an adult if we were being handled in the same way. If emotions truly are the basis of our behaviors...think about it; what emotions are you building in your child and what behaviors are you causing?

Seek first to understand...then guide in the direction of your dreams.
Jackie VanCampen
I’m standing here in my kitchen reading a message I received from a friend about how my book impacted her life. She said she had no idea how much I had gone through because I was always so full of light… As I thought about what she said, I began to think of the struggles and circumstances in my life and how I had decided to step out of being a victim to be being in charge of my happiness…

We often say that certain situations make us a better a better person, and, although I agree with this statement, I feel that it’s not so much our circumstances that make us a better person; rather, it’s the choice we make to win over our circumstances that makes us a better person. I know many people who use their struggles to keep themselves victims and disempowered.

When my daughter chose to move with her dad to Brazil, what came to me was that this was the time for her to be his teacher; for her to show him another way of being; for him to connect with something deeper within himself… I knew that she had been the main reason why I chose to go on a journey of healing and transformation. I wanted to give her a better life. I wanted to show her what self-love felt like. I wanted to show her what a good relationship looked like. Then tonight, as I thought of her mission to be her father’s teacher, it hit me that perhaps her mission those many years back, when I decided to go on my healing journey, was to be my teacher. What if she actually was the catalyst for me to know what self-love felt like? What if she came to show me what a good relationship looks like?

What if she truly were that powerful? What if our children were that powerful? Often times as parents we think we are the ones teaching, when in reality, we are the ones being taught. Now that’s an interesting concept!

As her father now gets to be blessed with having her full-time as his teacher, it’s my hope that he will take full advantage of the learning opportunity and begin his own journey of healing and transformation.

What would it take to acknowledge our children for the gift they bring to our lives; for the lessons and the experiences we get to have with them, even the ones we deem painful and impossible to change? How grand it is to intertwine the relationship we have as parents and children! How can we gift that to our communities and the world?

I will end with an excerpt from my book – Letters to My Daughter: A Mother’s Journey of Healing and Transformation

” Marla, your presence in my life has always been a healing presence, but this journey of watching you make your choice to go to Brazil has taken my own healing to all new places.

As I’ve watched and supported you in making your own choices and listening to your heart, I have been able to look back and further heal my own story.

You and I are being led along a magical journey, and we get to choose how we see, feel, and behave while on this new adventure.

You can fly. Strengthen those wings, Baby. Learn how to let the wind carry you. Learn to trust it. Your purpose is bigger than you can imagine. This is just the beginning.”


www.wiseheartwithin.com
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