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.”
Top Ten Study Tips
Posted February 20, 2012 by cuteparents in Education
Dear all, Whether we like it or not we need to study for better life to enjoy in the future and to sustain ourselves on our own in the latter days to come. Though we hate, we cannot run away from it, instead realize that it is good to study for having good future.

Some do not even know the basics of studying. Here are some tips and tricks to study better.

1.Study in a quiet and well-lit place. It is essential to alienate yourself from others, until you complete your task. Tell them politely that you are working and ask them to allow you to study for awhile. Meet them later and have fun to relax for a while.

2.It is very important not to lie down on a couch or bed to study. Study sitting erect at a desk or table. Take a break if you need it.

3.Find out the best part of the day to study. Some are alert in the early mornings; others are good late at night.

4.Just after the classes review the days notes. You will be able to sort out the problems when it is fresh in your mind. As a result, you can avoid cramming.

5.Plan few hours of a study for every day and stick on to it.

6.Gift yourself. If you happen to study successfully for certain period of time compliment yourself with an ice cream, movie or go out with friends.

7.Take short breaks if you require. Research shows people can concentrate only for about 30 minute, after which there is decline in the concentration. Take a short walk if you had hit that point of lapse in concentration. Within 5 minutes take a drink and again get back to work.

8.If you are capable to answer questions and explain concepts to others, you will become clearer. Otherwise you will start to realize what the need to study more is.

9.When you are working with others be a little more cautious. Some members are prone to distract others. You should be cautious in choosing with whom you work.

10.Work alone to master concepts and information. Work with others to test your true understanding.

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Tara Kennedy-Kline
Today, I noticed that when someone comes to me with news of one of my children's errors, mistakes, missteps, failures or poor choices, I would defensively react AT the person delivering the message. I would externalize my embarrassment and vent out of guilt and if learning of their mistake made it about ME and failing as a parent, instead of leaving it what it is; a child's mistake and an opportunity to learn and grow.

My Mom Reality Bytes #2 is:
"When I learn of my children's accidents, mistakes, or poor choices, I must first focus on thanking the person who delivered the message. I must appreciate them for bringing it to my attention thereby giving me the opportunity to then focus on how I can help my children. I must look at this information not as an attack of my parenting, but a chance to help my children realize where they may have gone wrong and how we can all learn and grow from our mistakes.

Jean Tracy, MSS
Raising optimistic kids isn't difficult when you use these parenting skills. Our parenting expert, Janet Coppola, is the founder of Express Yourself. Let's find out her 5 strategies.

1. Display and maintain a positive approach and always tell them you love them.

Janet's positive approach is important. Nobody likes being yelled at, especially kids.

Telling children that you love them, why you love them, and using love notes can be very effective in raising optimistic kids. Smiling a lot helps too.

2. Allow children the opportunity to see that we all make mistakes at times as we are human beings.

I like Janet's advice especially if you have sensitive perfectionist kids.

One of my son's hated making mistakes, like spilling his glass of milk. I told him, "Everybody makes mistakes. Just clean it up." I handed him the paper towels.

He needed more. So I asked him to draw a picture of everyone in our family including cousins, aunts, and uncles. He loved drawing so this was fun for him.

Then in big letters I asked him to write, "All People Are Mistake Makers." We posted the picture with the words on the refrigerator. Then we discussed it. It helped him relax when he made a mistake and to fix it if he could.

Now his children tell me, "It's just a mistake, Grandma, " as they fix their mistakes.

3. Show them that we are all afraid of something and explain to them the importance of tackling their fears.

I like Janet's advice here because my 4-year-old granddaughter fears bugs. To get over this fear we look under big rocks for bugs and save them in a container to observe. The other day she let a couple of ants crawl on her hands and felt fine. Teaching kids to tackle fears is an important step to becoming optimistic by feeling confident.

4. Promote children's thinking skills and encourage independence from an early age.

Asking kids thinking questions is often better than taking over and doing something for them. "How do you think this works?" is a great question to ask. Then congratulate them for trying to figure it out. This promotes independence too as they become "I can" children.

5. Be honest with children even when they ask difficult and sensitive questions.

Janet is right. But we have to use common sense with this one. Telling kids more than they need to know about issues like sex could worry, confuse, or entice them to act on what we say.

On other issues when we fib and they find out, they loose some of their trust in us. Most of the time it's easy to be completely truthful. But when we're not sure of what to say, it's perfectly OK to say, "I need some time to think about it."

Raising optimistic kids isn't difficult when you think about it. The trick is to think before we speak and keep it positive.

Let's give Janet a big "THANK YOU" for her fine ideas. To connect with Janet go to her Express Yourself website at where she promotes children to express themselves.

Join Jean's Blog at You will find many Linkedin parenting professionals featured. Maybe you'd like to be featured too.
Adam Dolgin
If you ask me, it's hard to imagine that certain people could actually get any more messed up in their thinking than they already are- but it happens, everyday. Like France's recent announcement that they'll be banning ketchup in their schools in order to "preserve their heritage." Okay, but as a student of history, I don't think that's a nice message to send to all the tomato paste producing countries that actually saved your a$$ during WWII, allowing you to preserve a culture that isn't, well, German. And what about the American school banning chocolate milk, claiming it's the evil cousin of Soda Pop? Was that an actually study, or did someone come up with that while drinking a Yoo Hoo? And let's not forget the Scottish for banning Father's Day cards in their schools, leaving an entire township of well deserving dads wondering why they only got the tie this year because the school board didn't want to make a handful of kids without fathers feel bad.

Who are these people, and when did we give them the right to be our moral compass? Did we not learn anything from "Footloose?"

Look, when I say I believe it takes a village to raise a child, I don't mean Shirley Jackson's village. But, if you ask me, I believe he who casts the first stone to start banning anything and everything from hugs, to dancing, to the dictionary (I kid you not) in our schools should actually get to be next in line to be stoned himself.

What, we told people they couldn't burn books anymore so jump rope became the next logical thing on their hit list? When does it stop? It's one thing to make our kids walk through a metal detector to search for guns, but now our kids are being strip searched at the door for Pogs?- and they're not even popular anymore. But what really gets me- the thing that makes me so angry that I want to take a yard stick and shove it so far up some one's arse to remove whatever obstruction (or pickle) is up there- is when people take the fun out of childhood for our kids. So when I hear Halloween costumes are being banned in our schools because it's viewed by some as a "religious holiday" (source article: The Huffington Post) I want to find Mr. Weatherbee and tell him to grow a set of (big ones) at the next P.T.A. meeting.

If Halloween's still a religious holiday then witches still exist and we should be able to bring them to trial for these kinds of sadistic acts against our children. Because if you believe Corporate America is a religion you shouldn't be heading up a child advocacy group- you should be getting your f-ing head examined (it's the Devil, duh). Cancel Halloween? It's a bunch of kids running around the halls enjoying them selves and playing make-believe for Christ's sake. It's not a Pagan ritual (anymore).

Do I have the right to be upset? You're damn right I do! Children used to have choice (or at the very least, their parents did). But somewhere, somehow, we relinquished all our rights to the so-called "experts" and the advocacy groups and the politicians and the loudest, most obnoxious people in the room because we just couldn't be bothered to look up from our computer screens, or smart phones long enough to see that we were giving these people the power to make all our choices for us.

Well here's a thought... tell these people and their asinine ideas to go (expletive deleted) themselves; to leave our kids alone, and go and take a good long look in the mirror to figure out what the hell is so wrong with them that they need to destroy all the fun of being a child (and for that matter- being a parent) for the rest of us. Let them sit at home and think about it while the rest of the world, myself included, take our kids out for the most magical night of the year- then steal half their candy.

Happy Halloween!

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