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Parenting

Managing Stress – Does your Family Have A Plan?

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Managing Stress – Does Your Family Have A Plan?

By Sadie Foster, MA

 

Lack of stress management has been linked to heart disease, decreased immune function, behavioral problems, difficulty sleeping, decreased school and or work performance, headaches, stomachaches and many other problems.  You’ve probably heard those things before – but did you realize those things are true for children, teens, and adults?  The skills and coping methods learned in youth, can stick throughout life even if they are not healthy. 

Let’s consider some of the facts.  A report released in November 2010 by the American Psychological Association found many disturbing facts.

While parents report similar sources of stress as the rest of the population (80 percent cite money, 72 percent cite work and 72 percent cite the economy as stressors), many also report that family responsibilities are a significant source of stress (73 percent).

 

Results from the survey suggest that parents feel that they are under a great deal of stress (nearly one-third report feeling this way) and understand the importance of managing it (69 percent say managing stress is important). However, only one-third (32 percent) believe they are doing an excellent or very good job of managing their stress.

While the majority of parents don’t think their children are strongly affected by their stress, children report otherwise.

 

Nearly three-quarters (69 percent) of parents say that their stress has only a slight or no impact on their children, yet 91 percent of children report they know their parent is stressed because they observe a multitude of behaviors, such as yelling, arguing and complaining. 

 

The study went on to find that children, tweens, and teens are all affected greatly by the stress their parents experience as well as the stress from their own lives. 

As a parent, it is crucial to learn to recognize and reduce stress as well as teach the children in the household to do the same.

Your family stress management plan should include

    Defining stress with examples

    Understanding the impact stress can have

    Recognizing what things can cause stress in your lives

    How to find solutions to problems that cause stress

    Where to go for help

    How to develop healthy habits

Decide to make and use a stress management plan for you and your family and enjoy today!

 

Love and Blessings,

 

Sadie

Family Date Night – Free Or Low Cost Ideas You May Not Have Tried

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Family Date Night – Free Or Low Cost Ideas You May Not Have Tried

By: Sadie Foster, MA

Does your family have a family date night? (Or day :)  )  A time set aside for everyone in your household to spend quality time together, having fun and building relationships?  I hope so it is an extremely valuable tool and it’s fun!

Many people say they want to have family date time but they have no idea what to do beyond the watch a movie routine.  Try the list of free or low cost family activities below – have an open mind you just might surprise yourself and your family.  Remember that it’s not really about what you do as much as it is about how and why you do it!

1.       Potato sack racing, hide and seek, freeze tag – any motion game.  Don’t let physical limitations stop you. I once watched my  5 year old create a way to play hide and seek with a dear family member in a wheelchair.  She instructed him to find her by making eye contact!

2.       Lightening bug catching- do you remember the thrill of this as a child?  If you don’t live in an area where catching lightening bugs is an option – select something else to catch or spot for an evening of fun.

3.       Sand, snow or stick figure building – pick a season or location.  Your family can build anything – together. 

4.       Board game play – The opportunities here seem to be unlimited.  There are board (and electronic games) for just about every interest!

5.       Cooking together- Even if you don’t like to cook or are short on time this can be fun.  You can go all out and create something grand or do something simpler like make your own pizza, salad, or tacos.

6.       Geocaching – Wikipedia describes geocaching as 'an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world.

7.       Painting portraits –Depending on the age and artistic ability or interest in your home this can vary from finger paints to portrait paining.

8.       Animal watching – Bird watching, an owl walk, find the nest, a trip to the zoo – you decide.

9.       Serving others – There are people all over the world that need help.  As a family why not clean or serve in a shelter or nursing home.  Shop or donate to the needy or do yard work for an elderly neighbor.

10.   Explore the town – you may or may not be able to take a big trip tonight but you can explore your town as if you were a visitor. 

What are your favorite family time activities?  Decide to enjoy you family today! 

 

 

 

Sadie Foster specializes in taking the mystery out of enjoying health, family relationships and life. Her systems teach the skills most  people were never taught, to overcome challenges and get extra-ordinary results quickly.  Making it simple to enjoy health, enjoy your marriage, enjoy children, and enjoy your life with actionable step by step yet flexible processes.  She has been serving families through counseling and nutritional psychology for the last 14 years. Connect with me on Facebook and Twitter!

 

 

 

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People Are a Reflection of What They See and Hear

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People Are a Reflection of What They See and Hear.

By: Sadie Foster, MA

Ever wonder where you or your child picked up a certain saying, habit or way of talking? Ever stopped to consider that it may have come from someone or something time was spent around?  Truth is we become like the people we spend the most time with.    It’s evaluation time.  Who do you and your children spend most of your time with?  Is it family members, friends, video games, or the television?  Are you finding that you do not like the words that are coming out of your child’s mouth or the tone in which they say it?  What are the words that are coming out of your mouth?  How do you make requests or provide direction or correction?  How do you respond to others around you? What about actions – anything you'd like to do more or less of?

Would a few examples help clarify this point for you?  See if you see yourself or your child in the following examples:

You visit a place where the way of speaking is different; a different region or culture.  After a few days, does your voice and or words sound more like theirs?

Your child begins to quote the sayings of a movie, storybook, or television show in similar situations.

You begin to want something a friend has or something you see television. 

Are you starting to see how the people and things we are around can influence who we are – almost without realizing it?

I remember working with a family many years ago.  The little girl had a habit of pointing her finger in her baby sister’s face and fussing at her if she didn’t do what she wanted her to do.  Neither her sister nor mother liked that habit.  One day in frustration the mother found herself fussing at her older daughter, insisting that she be nicer to her sister.  When she looked down she realized her finger was pointed in her daughters face. 

So what do you do if you there are influences that need to be stripped of their power?  Follow these steps:

  • 1.       Recognize that there needs to be a change. 
  • 2.       Pay closer attention to what you and your children are doing and saying.  Encourage the positive. Decide where the negative might be coming from.  Remove the negative influences as much as possible.
  • 3.       Replace the negative with positive.

What do you do when the negative things or people cannot be removed?  Limit your exposure as much as possible.  Tell yourself and your child in a straight forward way – other people might do or say those things but we don’t.

If birds of a feather flock together – who are you flocking with?  Decide today to allow your reflection to be intentional.  Enjoy Today!

Love & Blessings,

Sadie

Family Life – Actions Speak

By | Blog Articles, Family, Marriage, Parenting | 4 Comments

Family Life – Actions Speak

By: Sadie Foster, MA

It is common in our society to hear the phrase actions speak louder than words – yet what exactly does it mean that actions speak?  How do our actions really affect others and ourselves?  One of the most common parenting and relationship problems I am asked about has to do with listening. 

Parents tell me things like:

“They just don’t listen”

“I have to say the same thing over and over again”

“I have to yell in order for them to do it”


I hear from husbands and wives:

“I have to nag him to get things done”

“She never honors my requests unless I ask at the last minute”

“They never help me”

“They don’t hear me unless I’m crying or threatening to leave”


In other relationships:

“They always dump extra work on me”

“If say no they either ignore me or talk me into it”

“I have to do it all”


The truth, as painful as it is for most of us – is that we have trained people around us by our actions and lack of action not to listen, not to respond, and not to believe us. 

Consider this – you drive through a village where the posted speed limit for the entire village is 20 mph.  If you were guaranteed that you would not be pulled over or ticketed by the police, get hurt or hurt anyone else or cause any type of harm – would you be super diligent about staying under 20mph?  Studies have shown that most of us would not.    Why – because the sign says 20mph but there is no action to support it or back it up.  In a sense it is out of sight out of mind.

So how does this apply to you and enjoying your life?  Let’s start with saying no.  If your mouth says no and your action is to complete the task for the person that asked, or to allow whatever request your child made after being asked a few more times – your actions have spoken.  They have taught that person that you will do what they ask and that you don’t really mean what you say. 

When you inform your husband, children, or others – that you can longer take last minute requests yet consistently fill requests for project help, special meals, or trips to wherever – your actions have spoken. 

Let’s look at yelling.  If you make a request over and over and over again and no one moves until you start yelling, unfortunately your actions have taught that you don’t really mean it until you yell. 

If you tell a loved one they are important to you yet everything else comes first in your time – your actions speak.

What are your actions saying?  What do you want them to say?  Say and do what you mean.  Decide to enjoy today!


Love and blessings,

Sadie

Sadie Foster specializes in taking the mystery out of having enjoyable family relations.  Her systems teach the skills most  people were never taught, to overcome challenges and get extra-ordinary results quickly.  Making it simple to enjoy your marriage, enjoy children, and enjoy your life with actionable step by step yet flexible processes.  She has been serving families through counseling for the last 14 years. 

Your Family Life vs Your Priorties

By | Blog Articles, Enjoy Life, Family, Featured, Marriage, Parenting | 6 Comments

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Your Family Life vs Your Priorities

by: Sadie Foster, MA

 

I once heard a great story about a dad, his electronic planner, and his child.  This dad carefully explained how important his planner was to his young child after it was almost destroyed by accident. He went into great detail about how it how it held the names, how to get in touch with, and special times to meet with very important people.   He shared how things that he had to do and important things he never wanted to forget where all stored in that tiny little tool.  His child responded with I’m sorry daddy –I understand why it is so important to you. Can you show me where I am in it?  Imagine his shock and the feeling that washed over him when he realized his beloved child, one of the main reasons he worked so hard – would not find their name in the tool.  Imagine how that child felt.

If we spend the most time, most money, and most energy on the things that matter most to us – what are you habits saying?  Now I’ve heard the argument before – that’s not true!  I HAVE to work – I HAVE obligations that I MUST tend to.  True – income must come from somewhere to provide for our loved ones, yet there is a lack of balance in our society.  How many times have you heard yourself say I can’t today or I don’t have time or maybe another time?  Does “another time” ever come?  Is it way later if it shows up? 

It is true that many of the things we are obligated to do have major consequences should we choose not to do them.  We might lose a job, miss a deal, get a ticket, or be the cause of something not going well.  Most people don’t realize that not making time spent with our love ones a priority also has major consequences.   Typically these consequences are more subtle, easy to blame on something else and build over time.  Ever wonder how a child grows up and the parents don’t know them? How couples wake up one day and realize they don’t really know their spouses anymore and they are not sure if they like the person they see? How respect is lost?  It has been proven that lack of priory, lack of time spent, and lack of communication are major contributors to relationship break down.  When a relationship and the people in it are treated as a major priority – its members can face and defeat challenges that come their way.   Decide today to evaluate your priorities – does the way you spend your time, your money and your loyalty match what is most important to you?

 

Say I Love You

By | Blog Articles, Enjoy Life, Family, Marriage, Parenting | 8 Comments

Say I love you

One day  around 6:30am I stood in the kitchen fixing breakfast with my little girl.  She’d only been awake and in the kitchen with me for about ten minutes.  I don’t remember the exact details of the dream she was telling me about but  I remember saying,  do you know how much I love you?  I was expecting our familiar fun conversation of describing how much we loved each other.  You know the ones – I love you deeper than the depth of the ocean.  Well I love you more than the sky is high.  That morning her initial response was different. 

She said No.  I said you don’t… Why not?  She said because you haven’t told me yet today.

There are many ways to express our love to others.  How often do you think about how you are intentionally expressing love to you child? Saying I love You and building up our children through the power of words, is one of the many great responsibilities we have been given as parents.

Consider these quotes:

“The power of life and death is in the tongue” Provebs 18:21

Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs. –Pearl Strachan

An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” Prov. 12:25 (NIV)

 “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” Mark Twain

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. –Jesus Christ

What does it mean to affirm?

  • To declare positively or firmly
  • To  maintain to be true.
  •  To support or uphold the validity of;
  • To confirm.

 

Children want the approval and love of their parents.  They want and need to hear – and believe it when you say:  You are enough and I love you for who you are.  Imagine the impact you can have on a child’s self esteem, value, worth and belief of themselves.  The next time you want to lift your child up and I love you, and another positive affirmation. Keep the focus on who they are, not what they did.   Here’s a few to get you started.

 

15  Ways To Affirm Your Child

 

You are unique and special

You are creative

You are a great problem solver

You are a special gift to me

You are smart

You are a great listener

You have many gifts and talents

You are awesome

I have so much fun with you

I am proud of you

I love spending time with you

You are brave

You are beautiful

You are wonderful

You are amazing

 

Enjoy Today!

 

Love & Blessings,

Sadie