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!

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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.

Teaching Children About Money by Susan A. Haid, Author/Producer, Lily’s Truth

by Susan A. Haid

Parents often wonder if and when their children should learn the value of money whether it is through an allowance or otherwise. My children, like many children in today’s material society, started asking for every toy under the sun as soon as they could talk. Of course, I admit that initially I enjoyed giving my kids the toys they asked for, but I soon learned that this is a bottomless money pit with no easy way out.
So as soon as my kids were able to count, I started teaching them how to count pennies, nickels and dimes. When they had earned several coins that they could put in their own wallets, I allowed them to spend it as they wished, helping them to understand what they were able to buy with the very small amount of money they had in their possession. What was interesting to observe is that they started to develop discernment about what they would choose to purchase rather than simply wanting everything and expecting to get every toy on the market.
Another beautiful evolution that occurred, although this required some work on my part as well as theirs, is that they began to understand the value of saving their money so that they could have greater purchasing power. As my children got a little bit older (5-6 years old), they began to cultivate the patience needed to wait for a something they wanted while they slowly saved up for it. Immediate gratification was no longer part of their world. They needed to have the discipline and responsibility to earn money for the items they wanted to buy with the exception of the gifts they received on birthdays and holidays for the most part.
Money has been a tool of empowerment in our house. Money must be earned by the performance of chores and duties outside of the normal expected duties. Money must be saved by each one of us including the parents. After all, parents represent the standard for the children. My kids now understand why Mommy doesn’t drive a brand new car or why we can’t go out to dinner whenever we feel like it. My kids also don’t argue when I tell them they can’t have this or that when we are in a store buying necessities.
I want to instill in my children that they have the power to make money and buy the things they wish to have. I do not want to impose fear-based thinking or poverty consciousness. I simply want to teach my kids how to make money and how to use it wisely. My kids have learned discernment, patience and responsibility in the process. These tools, and that is all they are, will serve them well as they get older.
The next step in my children’s education about money has been about how to make money creatively and joyfully without necessarily having to toil away for it. But that discussion is for another time. Meanwhile, for more exciting books and DVD’s that empower parents and children, learn about Lily’s Truth by Susan A. Haid at http://www.lilystruth.com.

Can You Teach Your Child About Trust? Empowering Kids In a New Way by Susan A. Haid, Author/Producer, Lily’s Truth

by Susan A. Haid

If you are anything like me, then you want your children to be able to tell the difference between the people they can trust and the people they can’t. Not only are these skills important for kids to learn during childhood, but these are vitally important skills they will carry into adulthood. There aren’t any common conventional ways to teach this important concept to kids, but I can give you some simple techniques that can help.
The single most important thing we can teach our children is to trust their perceptions, feelings and instincts. This means we should validate what our children see and feel, reflecting back to them that their perceptions are accurate. These natural protective mechanisms are so quickly and easily shut down in young children. Kids are often taught to override their natural instincts and hide their reactions in lieu of behaving in a manner that is considered polite, acceptable or appropriate.
We all have been culturally conditioned not to trust what we see and feel at the most fundamental level. We must admit that this has not served our best interests. This deficiency surely is not one we want to foster in our children, yet this conditioning has become akin to a virus…everyone does it. It should be perfectly acceptable for children to express what they see, what they think, and what they feel merely to have the important experience of having their viewpoint and feelings validated. We can help them learn to trust themselves. We can also teach our kids how to express themselves in a respectful yet honest way. If our children can trust themselves implicitly, then they will be able to take care of themselves perfectly well in almost any situation.
We must ensure that our kids have the opportunity to live as freely as possible, trusting their innate ability to know and to choose what is right for them. If we do, we will be proud to watch our children make choices that serve them well.

For more information about Techniques for Building Trust in Our Children, or for more details about Susan A. Haid and Lily’s Truth, visit http://www.lilystruth.com.

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