How to Raise a Happy Kid: Part 1 by Susan A. Haid, Author/Producer, Lily’s Truth, www.lilystruth.com

by Susan A. Haid

When all is said and done, as parents and caregivers, more than anything else we want our children to be happy.   In providing for our child’s happiness, where does our responsibility begin and where does it end?  As a mother of three active, inquisitive and involved children, I can tell you that my kids never stop asking for what they want.  If I obliged every request, there would be no end to the fulfilment of their needs and desires.   And in this puzzle, where do I fit in?

Being a happy Mom is also part of the formula, you see.  My kids, like most other kids their age, are involved in sports, music, dance and more.  They also have a very active social life with their friends.  As you know, this requires a big commitment on my part to ensure that all of these activities happen on a regular basis.

So, on the days when we don’t have plans readily in place comes the inevitable question, “What are we doing today?” which is always followed by the expected yet incessant response, “I’m bored.”

In empowering my children, I realize that my kids must learn to take responsibility for managing their own happiness when they have time to themselves.  Now, we all know what kids do when they’re bored. They fight with each other.  It’s a game for them, it’s fun and it kills time.  This also can push even the likes of Mother Theresa over the edge within a matter of seconds.

So what is a parent/caregiver to do?  I have learned that a good measure of patience is required to get through the initial phase of boredom kids will experience.  Then there is the consequent whining, pouting and demanding that will initially ensue.  This is when I make a few firm, non-negotiable statements to my children that today they must entertain themselves.  Ofcourse, the emotional manipulations continue for a good long while, but then my kids seem to figure something out.

I have watched my kids make choices to entertain themselves based on the resources they have at home.   This is the birthplace of imaginative play and creative activities. This is when my kids walk out the door to play with rocks, sticks, dirt and grass.  This is when they enter the magical and wondrous world of their imaginations.  It’s getting beyond the initial resistance that is the hardest part.  I have learned to stand my ground and not give in to the whining, complaining and demanding because something wonderful is about to happen.

Some of the most beautiful experiences I have had in teaching my kids to take responsibility for entertaining themselves has occurred while we have been outdoors.  Out in the forest or by a stream, there is so much naturally available to keep a kid occupied without the crutch of a computer game, ipod or television.   Once a child gets immersed in nature, hours will pass by without a peep.  The next amazing thing that happens is that the child begins to relax and let go of the need to seek stimulation from other people or from technology.  With every hour a child is submersed in the magical world of nature, the child innately returns to his or her own peaceful state of being.  This is so healthy for our children.

Kids need down time.  Kids need time to be alone with themselves.  Some kids are better at being alone than others, but inevitably, time alone (preferably out in nature) is profoundly healing and balancing for each and every child.  It is also deeply restful and nuturing for parents and caregivers. 

Every now and then, make a point to walk away from life completely.  Teach your kids how to do it to.   Teach your kids also how to enjoy their own company.  This may seem inconsequential, but you have just unwittingly instructed your children on how to manage their own happiness.  This is simple, elegant and empowering.  This will bring peace and balance to your family and your life.  This will teach your children how to care for themselves and their tender inner spirits.   Everyday life is stressful for everyone, but you can always choose to leave it all behind for a few hours at a time.   This is a skill we teach our children by example.

Saying “no” to the constant demands to provide for a child’s happiness and “yes” to a child’s opportunity to fill their own time in a peaceful and nurturing setting is a great way to empower your child.   Give your children the gift of themselves.  Help them to become supremely comfortable in their own energy.  You are supporting the development of their sovereignty in doing so, and this is a most beautiful and blessed unfolding that is a result of liberating the inner spirit.

For more information about empowering kids, teens and families, or for more information about Susan A. Haid and Lily’s Truth, visit www.lilystruth.com for more exciting details.

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Smokin’ Hot Mama by Susan A. Haid, Author/Producer, Lily’s Truth

by Susan A. Haid

Over the past 46 years of my life, I have learned a thing or two about myself. There has been nothing extraordinary about me or my life circumstances. I am an ordinary woman who has lived an ordinary life. Well, except for the part of me that talks to dead people. But hey, other than that one little thing, I’m just a normal gal. That is another story for another time. In spite of my otherwise conventional life, I have come to a place where I can fully accept myself…all of me…the good, the bad, the ugly, the normal and the not-so-normal. Although this might seem to be a natural evolution of maturity, it is actually a profound transformation that forever changes everything. What I now know is that a little bit of “crazy” can be a good thing, a very good thing indeed.
You see, when I started to live freely without self-judgment, then I started truly living. I no longer care about the full figure I am wearing at midlife. Instead, I can see my own beauty, even if society cannot. I wear clothes that are comfortable, flowing and lovely. I no longer worry about dieting. I concern myself only with joy, health and balance. Happiness certainly must be correlated with health and longevity, but I don’t need a scientific study to prove it. If I happen to die a premature death, I die a happy person. So there you are.
Later in life, I have taken up belly dancing, opera singing and painting just for the fun of it. I don’t expect to be very good at these things but I do have fun. At this point in life, having fun is, well, just so much more fun than being good. And I love that I don’t have any rules to follow…hmmm, when did the rules get to be so important anyway?
When I am with other people, I don’t care about anything other than just having a good time. In fact, my bottom line has become all about the fun factor. I now choose to be around people who can laugh and be merry, who are lighthearted and joyful, and yes, who can party like there is no tomorrow. Although it may be irreverent, I can laugh at almost anything. After throwing a party, I chuckle at the number of wine bottles in my recycle bin.
I love to be with people who are accepting and free-spirited. I seek out friends who have no need or desire to view the world through the eyes of judgment and control. I believe in progress through conscious awareness but not through moral condemnation. The one thing I still need to work on is my acceptance of self-righteous, condemning people; I avoid them like the plague and have not found my peace within their presence as of yet. In fact, these folks irritate me more than anyone else, at least for now. In spite of my overall Zen demeanor, these types still cause me to bristle. But my new, enlightened strategy is to find a way to joke about it. My current irritations are great fodder for some very funny stuff as you might imagine; humor really does diffuse the irritation.
I engage in conversations freely and openly, no longer worrying about what I might say. I am authentic and true to myself. I try to laugh as much as possible whenever and wherever possible. I am serious by nature, but I am learning the art of living with grand humor. I have learned to laugh at myself, and OMG, I am hilarious.
It no longer matters to me that my kids are not the most well-behaved children on the block or may not get the best grades. What matters to me is that they are learning through their own experience and cultivating their own brand of wisdom of which self-acceptance is a part. In liberating myself, I have unwittingly liberated my children. This alone is profound and very blessed.
I don’t worry about morality because that is just another form of judgment and control. Instead I live by my one cardinal rule which is Compassion. My life became very simple and unencumbered when I finally let go of all my silly judgments and rules. I didn’t suddenly become wildly reckless and outrageously irresponsible as a result. I have become instead deeply loving and accepting of all people and all ways of living. This also helped me see the world quite clearly. Mostly, I can feel my own joy, and it feels really, really good.
In my past life, I had a perfect body, a gorgeous face and lots of attention from men (not to mention a whole boatload of repression). Today, what really tickles my fancy is that it is no longer the men who tell me that I’m sexy, it’s the women. I have had many women blurt out that they think I’m sexy, and I can assure you that there is nothing about me that meets our cultural standard of “sexy.” I am full-figured, fine-lined, stretch-marked, saggy, baggy and perfectly, ecstatically, joyfully happy. I have thrown my head back and laughed out loud more than once when told by a woman that I am sexy. However, what these women are sensing is an inner sexy that has nothing to do with superficial appearances.
I am wearing the look of genuine warmth, joy, peace and acceptance, and these attributes are monumentally magnetic in a world weary of surface appearances, masks and games. In telling my story, I am telling the story of liberation, acceptance, true happiness and lasting beauty that never ages, needs Botox or loses sex appeal. At midlife, I am one smokin’ hot mama.
If I am fortunate enough to become a smokin’ hot granny, I hope I am that ridiculous old gal who wears a rhinestone-studded cowboy hat, an oversized t-shirt and thigh-high vinyl boots when she dances for her lover. I hope I break a few ribs with extreme, insufferable, side-splitting laughter. I hope I have a few too many glasses of cabernet and way too much chocolate. I hope I love everyone I meet with shameless, furious, passionate abandon. I hope to become an eccentric old bird who didn’t waste a moment of her life on the things that don’t really matter. If I get my way, I have about 40 smokin’ hot years left, and there’s no good reason I can think of for turning back now.
Does this mean I am going to ride off naked into the sunset on a Harley? Maybe it does. And from now on, when you hear me counting calories, I am just figuring out how hot it’s getting in here. Oh, and can you pass me a fork? I’m digging in…

For more information about Susan A. Haid and Lily’s Truth visit www.lilystruth.com.

What is a Mother? by Susan A. Haid, Author/Producer, Lily’s Truth

by Susan A. Haid

What is a “Mother?” This is not just a word that describes a female parent. This is not one who is a servant. This is not one who exists to meet the needs and expectations of others. A “Mother” is one who holds the energy of Compassion. A “Mother” is there to nurture and to heal if that is what she wants to do. She is there to sing a song or to play a game, to sooth a bruise, or to make a heavy situation light.

She lets herself fly so that those around her might join her.

There are those who would keep her energy contained. With one ounce of freedom, she can light the skies on fire! With what, you might ask, a dish mop and a broom? I say to you again, she can light the skies on fire! She can change the world and others will follow. When she speaks, you must listen to what is in her heart. You say you have heard it all before. But her song, her note, must be played for you once again. You have only heard her speak to you in a whisper.

At night, when the moon is full, she will sing and she will dance, and she will set the night on fire.

The howls of the wolves speak the very same language as she. She will howl at night when the moon is full, not to be seen, but she will be heard and others will follow.

When will she do these things, this lighting of the skies, this howling at the moon? When will she be seen? Is she not brave enough to show herself to the world?

It is the light from within the darkness that touches the soul. She has chosen to come at exactly the right time and in exactly the right way.

And in her choosing, she will honor herself. She will cherish her own words. She will respect her faith in herself. She will set the night on fire, again and again.

It is because you have been sleeping that you have not seen her or heard her. She wishes you to soar along with her, but you will not let go.

If you heard her call, would you recognize it? It is like no other. You would know her by her sound, but you must possess a keen mind to understand her message. Is it wild, you ask? No, it is unlike any other call. Is it sorrowful, you ask? No, she will not embody sorrow. There is no other call like it. What is this sound, then, this sound that I have never heard, you ask?

It has magic surrounding it, this call. The unheard sound is profound. It speaks through a gesture or through a glance, in a wink or a smile. Compassion shows through so many things, like crystal reflecting a rainbow prism of light. She uses this tool as the answer. So insignificant you believe this to be. It is not profound. It is not what is needed. It cannot heal. It does not make change. It is sweet to say so, but there is so much more than this, or so you believe.

So you control and you fight and you fret and you wonder. How will the world survive? Where is the light? Where is the song, the answer, the truth? Who do we follow? What do we say? What will become of us? We are frightened. We are alone. And we don’t know what to do.

Within this struggle, you must eventually let go. You must succumb to what you feel, what you need, what you long for. It is there. It has been there for eons. She speaks but you will not listen to her. She knows you have been lost. She knows the answer to All. Her Call is inside you. Her Call will be there until there is no tomorrow.

She lights the night on fire, and yet you question, you doubt. It is there, but you fight it.

Can you let the magnificence begin? Can you allow yourself to be heard?

Hope.
Faith.
Love.
Compassion.

It is all We need and You are here. You are all that is needed.

It is time to transcend old ideas about “Mother.” “Mother” is not a servant. “Mother” is the Magi. “Mother” is the Healer. “Mother” carries the energy of the light within the darkness.

It is time to release Your Call in all its glory. You can trust Your Voice because Yours is the Voice that speaks with Compassion. Yours is the Voice of Change. Yours are the Words that Soothe. Yours are the Words that Heal. Yours are the Words that Enlighten. Yours are the Words that Empower. Yours are the Words that bring Light to the Darkness. This is Your Call…and others will follow.

She lets herself fly so that those around Her might join Her.

And at night, when the moon is full, She will Sing and She will Dance, and She will Set the Night on Fire.

For more helpful information about empowering families, parents and children, or for more information about Susan A. Haid and Lily’s Truth, visit www.lilystruth.com.

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