The Extraordinary Child by Susan A. Haid, Author/Producer, Lily’s Truth, www.lilystruth.com

by Susan A. Haid

All children are extraordinary. The messages our children receive from the world around them affect their developing perception of themselves, often damaging their self-esteem very early on. If we want our children to grow up with a strong sense of self-worth, feeling free to apply their individual brand of talent without doubt or limitation, then we need do three simple things for our kids on an ongoing basis:

1) Make sure your child knows that every child is creatively gifted in some way. Exploration in all areas of life needs to be fully supported by parents but chosen as an area of personal interest and discovery by the child first. Kids must be encouraged to experiment with creativity not only in the traditional academic areas identified as areas of “giftedness” but in all areas: science, writing, art, music, invention, sports, music, dance or whatnot. The list of areas in which to encourage creativity and originality is endless.  Creativity can be applied to any endeavor, and talent can be cultivated without limiting notions of what talent should look like to be considered valid.

2) Make sure kids know that grades and test scores do not define who they are or what their capability is. Grades and test scores indicate only a very small portion of who our kids really are.  The message kids get from parents should be on the importance of being educated. Kids naturally use grades and test scores to evaulate their worth and ability, and this affects their self-image and self-esteem; Kids need to get the message that they are capable of far more than a grade or test can ever indicate. Children must also understand that grades, either good or bad, do not guarantee success or failure in life.   The formula for success in life goes far, far beyond grade point averages.  Children must be encouraged to appreciate their own talents and gifts, understanding their potential in life is always unlimited.

3) Provide creative opportunities to stimulate your child’s imagination. Ensure that kids have free time, without structure, pressure, discipline or other demands, to give them the opportunity to use their imaginations.  Creativity and the imagination go hand-in-hand.  Because we live, by and large, in a culture that places unduly heavy emphasis on the intellect alone, the imagination is not, as of yet, cultivated to its full potential.  Without the use of the imagination, new ideas, discoveries, cures and other amazing potentials would not exist.  As a wonderful aside, creative activities help kids (and adults) to feel happy, energized and purposeful.

Your child is extraordinary!  For more exciting information about raising empowered, happy kids, visit www.lilystruth.com for additional tools to raise amazing children.

Advertisements

Healthy Relationships and Balanced Sexuality in Teens by Susan A. Haid, Author/Producer, Lily’s Truth, www.lilystruth.com

by Susan A. Haid

Contemporary culture, the media, and society-at-large is full of conflicting messages for our teenagers, frequently delivering an exploitative, degrading and superficial model of sex and sexuality.   Now, more than at any other time in history, is when we need to support our kids in cultivating healthy relationships and balanced sexuality.  We need to be having conversations, on an ongoing basis, that aren’t about sex necessarily, these important discussions are about standards, boundaries, self-respect and self-worth.

How do we begin these talks?  Frankly, these conversations and messages to our children need to start when they are very young. Remember, the baseline conversation is not about sex, it is about self-respect and self-worth. This is also not a conversation about moral beliefs. Why? Because this is not about controlling or repressing our children’s nature desires, sexuality and self-expression.  This is about supporting our children in making choices that are firmly rooted in self-worth. We must help our kids understand what sexual and sensual feelings are, help them understand that these feelings and desires are natural and beautiful, and help them understand how to express them in a healthy way that honors them and leads to balanced, joyful and respectful relationships.

The foundation we can give our kids, that will evolve into healthy choices during the teen years and beyond, can be built upon the following principles:

1) Teach kids to respect and honor themselves, their thoughts, their feelings, their beliefs. Remove all fear-based teachings completely.   Teach kids to trust the authority within themselves rather than putting their power into an outside source.  When we teach a child to make choices that constantly please others, that please God, or that gives their power away to another person, this confuses them and disconnects them from doing what is best for themselves.  These traditional teachings prevent kids from making clear, conscious choices that honor their own being first.

2) Teach kids to take responsibility for their choices.  Their locus of control should be placed where it belongs to be effective, which is within themselves. Kids must learn to make choices and trust themselves in this process.  If they feel their life is controlled by an outside source alone, they will never take full responsibility for their choices and actions.

3) Teach kids to seek out relationships that are mutually honoring, compassionate and respectful. No games or manipulations allowed.  Safe, supportive, respectful relationships are the rule at all times.  If a child is in touch with their self-worth, this will happen naturally.  As parents, it is mandatory that we teach this by example.

4) Teach kids to get comfortable in their empowerment and their sovereignty: teach them to let go of dishonoring relationships and seek out relationships of a higher order.  Let kids know it is OK to terminate a relationship immediately that is dishonoring, disrespectful, unloving or unsafe.

5) Model these concepts yourself.   Accept only loving, honoring relationships in your own life. Create a safe space in your own life, in your own home, that has its roots in mutual honor and respect.   This is the rule to live by.

More than ever before, it is mandatory that we as parents guide our children and teens using a relationship model that goes beyond traditional rhetoric that attempts to control or repress developing sexuality in kids and teens. The truth is that these old modalities twist and damage our children’s sexual energy, leading to the development of dysfunctional sexual expression that kids carry throughout adulthood.  These old methods, based in morality teachings or fear/control-based beliefs, simply don’t work, and they do more damage than good.   The truth is that these old teachings result in extensive damage to a child’s developing sexuality.

The result is that the pendulum swings the other way; we then witness an eruption of dysfunctional, exploitative, and degrading sexual energies pervading our society.  This twisting of energies is seen not only in sexual expression alone, it is seen as acts of violence, oppression, manipulation and degradation of every kind.  This distortion has infected every institution and every governing body.  It is time we connected the dots here and cleaned this up, starting with our own families.  We are the only ones who can do it, you see.

It is time that we give our children new tools to live by, and we must choose them for ourselves first.

For more information about empowering your children, visit www.lilystruth.com for tools to help raise healthy, happy, successful kids.  Lily’s Truth was designed as a tool to support parents in raising amazing children.  Check it out!

Parenting With Ease: The Lost Art Of Listening by Susan A. Haid, Author/Producer, Lily’s Truth

by Susan A. Haid

One of the best things we can do as parents is simply listen, with an open mind and an open heart, to our children. We represent the safe space, so to speak, where our kids can say exactly what they’re thinking and feeling without judgment. This is a very, very important role we play and not to be underestimated in it’s influence on our child’s development. As parents, we often feel the need to guide or control our children, and although this role has its place, sometimes the very best thing we can do is listen, just listen. When we become the sounding board for our kids, we give them the opportunity to figure things out for themselves and feel supported in their experiences. Expect that what your kids will say will be contradictory, full of emotion, or drama, or self-centeredness. This is O.K.   Kids need to vent just like adults do. We don’t need to make every conversation a life lesson.   When we simply listen with presence, we have created a place where kids are free to express themselves openly then let those energies lie until the answers emerge on their own.   When children know they have your presence and support in this way, they are free to think and feel without fear, without control, without guilt or shame.   The answers they will come up with, then, will be clear, empowered and honoring of the self.  Of course, there will be times when lengthly, guiding conversations are necessary. But most of the time, our job as a parent is very simple: listen.   This takes a lot of pressure off of the job of parenting. Try it and and see.   It seems to work miracles, but the real miracle is the natural wisdom that exists within your child.

For more refreshing ideas about new ways to parent and empower your child, and for new and exciting concepts, visit www.lilystruth.com.

%d bloggers like this: