Tara Kennedy-Kline
Ok…I’m on a forum with a bunch of “experts” who are arguing the points of “to spank or not to spank”. They are throwing out research & statistics, contradictions and insults…but not one of them is willing to concede one tiny point to the other’s argument and no one even thinks to offer a solution or alternative, and they wonder why they aren’t being heard!

Aren’t they kind of “spanking” one another?

When a child is spanked, they react. Typically by crying, and the spanker sees this reaction as a realization of the child knowing they did something wrong, or “learning their lesson”.

But something else happens when child is spanked. They are hurt. They feel vulnerable, scared, offended, and bad. So they cry. As a child matures, those feelings deepen into weakness, disrespect, humiliation, distrust and anger…and sometimes, they still cry.

People fight so passionately against spanking because they empathize with the feelings of being hurt, disrespected, weakened and humiliated (among others). NOT because they feel children should not have discipline…they just feel that discipline is about teaching and guiding, not degrading and hurting.

Parents who spank fight passionately for spanking because, typically, they are put in a position to have to defend their actions. Ironically, they themselves are made to feel disrespected, angry, offended, guilty and bad…so they defend their position to the end.

There is a huge difference between forcing a child to bare their bottom and striking them on it as a normal course of punishment, and the knee jerk reaction of swatting a kid on the hand or covered bottom once or twice throughout their childhood.

But when “non-spankers” turn on any type of strike as horrible and bad, we bring out the defensiveness of blame, shame and guilt that makes parents either hide their truth or defend all hitting in all cases…which gives the abusive spanker ammunition and muddies the waters of acceptable discipline.

How is it that the so called experts are so oblivious to what they are creating? Look at what happened to breast feeding! The boob nazi’s became so passionate in their quest to save all infant mouths from anything artificial, that many moms became afraid to attend a meeting if their baby used a pacifier or heaven forbid a bottle!!! So many good, breast feeding, paci using moms felt guilty and wrong so they went into hiding and the Anti paci’s got the knowledge, support and community of their boob bully friends.

We are doing the same thing with discipline! Are we not smart enough to understand that UNDERSTANDING and education is what we all need? If you fail a test do you drop the class? If you let your mother feed the baby a bottle, do you stop breast feeding? If you swat your 11 year old upside the head for mouthing off at his aunt, do you stop parenting? C’mon people…let’s be realistic and get smart. Parents make mistakes just like kids and not every smack can be called abuse. So, if we’re going to stop abusive parenting, we need to stop abusing each other first.

Tara Kennedy-Kline, Author
Stop Raising Einstein. Discover the Unique Brilliance in Your Child…and You!
Tara Kennedy-Kline
So, I'm on the phone with my dear friend Marlaine and we are talking about the struggles of parenting & motherhood...about our agreement that "no one parenting style is perfect"...and how parents need to give themselves and their kids a break every now and then.

While we chatted, I was doing what most moms do, wash the dishes, fold the laundry, water the flowers...well, not the Christmas cactus because it rarely needs water, and not the orchids because they must get misted, and not the ivy, because it's growing in a bowl of water...just the Calathia. The Calathia is the only one that needs water today...And then it HIT me!

My kids are just like those plants on my window sill! Yes, they are all plants that I brought into my home, but that doesn't mean that I can treat them all the same if I expect them to thrive and grow. If I gave everyone of them the exact same amount of water and sunlight and fertilizer, some of them may survive, but the rest of them would whither away and die. Each one is unique and beautiful and brings something wonderful into my home, but if they are all to grow to their full potential, I need to recognize their individual needs, requirements and boundaries and respect them accordingly.

But wait, it gets better!!!...

Let's say I go away for a while and a few of my plants don't get their needs met...some of those plants may begin to wilt and dull and stop thriving, but just like my kids, if when I come back, I nurture them gently and feed their needs, they will probably be very forgiving. And because I have made them strong by raising them well and giving them healthy roots, I will again have the gift of watching them bloom.

So my Mom Reality Bytes #10 is:
If I really want my children to blossom into strong, healthy, resilient human beings, I will have to release the belief that everything growing under my roof needs to be exactly the same and thrive by my expectations. Instead I have to take the time to understand them, feed them more of what they need as unique individuals and they will, in turn, bring me more joy and life than I could have ever imagined.

Tara Kennedy-Kline
This realization is going to be short and sweet...

Ok, that's a lie...but it COULD be!

So here's what happened. I hear these two women talking about a couple they know. They are trashing the woman because apparently the man wants to break up with her and she "isn't getting the hint"...but here's the deal; from what I heard, the guy is brilliant at being a complete jerk to her, but he can't seem to just man up and end it!

Inevitably what he is creating is making both of their lives miserable because he expects another person to act on his clues instead of just stating his truth.

It reminded me of the chapter in Stop Raising Einstein where we discuss stating intentions. In that chapter I tell a story of our family as we prepared to leave for an outing. I was flustered and my kids were making me crazy, so when they asked if they could go play, I immediately told them YES! GO!
But 30 minutes later, when I was ready to leave, they were nowhere to be found.

By the time I did find them, I was angry and they were upset because I never said they couldn't "go play" at the neighbor's...I just told them to go play!

If I had been honest with them and told them what I wanted up front; such as: "I need you to leave me alone for 20 minutes...so yes, go play and stay in the front yard." we would have been on the same page and there would be no need for an argument.

"But the problem is that most of us assume people already know what we want. We assume they know what we're thinking...and when they don't, we get frustrated. When you look at it this way, it seems pretty unreasonable of us to assume others can read our minds."

And isn't that exactly what Mr. Cool was doing to his girlfriend? Expecting her to read in to his actions and "get" what he wanted?

So he talks smack on her, gets angry with her, and basically lives his life being pissed off because he doesn't have the courage to tell her what he wants. He allows himself to dig deeper into his hole of muck and take everyone with whom he comes in contact down with him through his complaining and drama...when all he needs to do to free himself is state his truth.

So #11 on my Mom Reality Bytes list is:
"When it comes to expectations...put up, or shut up! If I am not willing to tell people exactly what I want, what I need or what I expect...I give up my right to complain when things do not go as I intended."
Jackie VanCampen
Recently my book coach posted my message/blog on her website and I was ecstatic! There it was – my message and next to it the cover of my upcoming book! I felt so proud of myself; it has been a long journey, and now to see it posted on her site just made it all more real.

I spent a long while posting and reposting it on Facebook and sent e-mails to my friends. I was so excited to share my story and the cover of my book! Suddenly, just as I had been swept by all the excitement of sharing my message, with that same strength I felt heaviness inside my heart. Where is this coming from?!? What points of view am I choosing right now? I asked myself quite caught by surprise by this heavy energy I was feeling.

The first thought that popped in my head was, “Why are you positing all this stuff? Are you just seeking acknowledgment from people? Seriously, I think you’re actually boring people with it and saying, ‘hey look at me; look at me!’” Whoa! I could feel the surge of limiting self-talk wash over me as I kept feeling heavier and heavier. At the same time, I kept trying to be the observer of my own emotions so I wouldn’t get completely caught up in my downward spiral of negativity.

As each emotion/point of view kept coming up, like, I’m not good enough. Who’s going to listen to me anyway? I don’t have anything to contribute, etc; I went into my heart and asked what was true for me while trying to listen to it through all that mental chatter. I went to bed feeling somewhat lighter, but still with some of the emotions lingering.

Then the next day, while listening to some very empowering tools, I heard, “What if you could bake the cake and eat it too? What if you having and being more of you could actually facilitate transformation on the planet?” Wow! What if me being me could cause transformation on the planet?!? Sure, I will take that!

When you can be who you truly are and you can allow your light to shine ever so brightly, not only can you transform your life by leaps and bounds, you also give others access to do the same for themselves.

We’re so caught up in wanting to be accepted, we forget that the only person who needs to accept us is ourselves. What if you could be as magnificent as you truly are? What if you didn’t have to worry about being so bright because you are worried you will outshine others? You know what? They can always get darker shades if they are not willing to have their light shine!

What if your heart is saying to you that you are powerful and empowered? What would you create? What kind of life would you be living? There’s only one person powerful enough to stop you from achieving your magnificent life, and one person powerful enough to give you all of you. And it’s not me. Smile

Celebrate who you are. Have gratitude for what you have accomplished and been so far. Then ask, what’s next? What else is possible?

Once I was able to ask myself those same questions, my whole world opened up, and because I was no longer in judgment of myself, I could now become the contribution to myself and others that I know I can be.

So, I’m definitely baking my cake and eating it too! Oh, and it tastes soooo good! Oh yeah, and here’s my message on my coach’s website! Smile

Tara Kennedy-Kline
So, I'm talking with one of my really good friends about her child and a recent experience they had around money and she asked me my opinion. Because I had just spilled my guts on my pal Regena's "Mad Money Mojo" teleseminar, I felt I was in a pretty good place to give her constructive feedback...so I listened.

Here's what happened: Her child was given a gift card for Christmas, but the items he wanted to buy were not at the same store as the gift card...so Mom agreed to give the child cash in exchange for the card as she knew she would be able to use it later. When the person who gave the child the card found out about this, they immediately got angry and said that the child should NOT have been allowed to spend that money and that he should have been made to "put it in the bank and save it".

I disagreed completely and my feedback to Mom was "If it were my son, I would have had him divide the money into 3 areas: an amount to spend, an amount to save and an amount to use for "good" (a donation, a gift for another child, food for the foodbank, etc...) We don't split those amounts evenly and it's not always consistent. For example if my son wanted to buy a specific item and was saving for it, he would be able to purchase that item first and then put away/donate the rest.

I believe that practice teaches children that there is a great deal of responsibility that comes with having money but at the same time there is much that we can do and accomplish with money other than just spending frivolously...and I believe it gives them a healthy understanding of and feelings about money.

And then, I realized something!

We as parents help our children to form beliefs about money from the time they are very young by the way we talk about it, manage it & spend it around them.

Many children experience a money dialogue that sounds like: "That's too expensive!", "When you get a job, you can waste your money on all the ---- you want." or "Don't give your money away, that was your birthday money." or "Hide that money you got from Grandma...you don't want someone to take it." to "I'm not made of money" or the ever popular " I don't bust my butt working to pay the electric bill so you can leave that light on all day!" But what we need to understand is that all of those statements and comments are creating in our kids a sense of negativity, fragility and scarcity around money!

So my Mom Reality Bytes #12 is:
If I truly believe we get what we focus on, then I am going to teach my children to respect, appreciate and invite money throughout life through:
An understanding of how to make it grow.
Knowledge of how to spend it wisely to get what they want.
And the desire to do what they can to bring joy to others.

Because not only do we get what we focus on, but I believe, when we give, we recieve.

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