Attitude of Gratitude

October 26th, 2014

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I am encouraged by the year-round attention to being grateful.  We no longer wait for Thanksgiving to give thanks!  With all the benefits of being grateful, the best in my opinion, is how your own problems become smaller.

 If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be content to take their own and depart.

- Socrates

How to keep the gratitude momentum going:

  1. Keep a journal and take a few minutes each day to write down something to be thankful for.
  2. Whenever you can, express your gratitude in person.
  3. Treat others with the same level of attention and respect you expect.
  4. Don’t complain when things happen.  Brush it off and don’t give it any more attention.
  5. Do ‘good’ for others.  That always makes you feel better.

More helpful reading:

6 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude

50 Ways to Show Gratitude for the People in Your Life

Our journey begins with a single step.  Being grateful is the first step to being happy, and isn’t raising happy children our job?

Thank you for reading!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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He was carefully taught

September 21st, 2014

If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend the first 55 minutes understanding the problem, and the last five minutes solving it.  

Albert Einstein

BC (before children)

The most important job in the world is also the one we are least prepared for.  It’s thrilling the first time we hear we are about to become parents, and prepare by learning as much as we can before the baby’s arrival.

AC (after children)

Because Kids Don’t Come with Manuals® we quickly understand training is on the job; very much like a reading the recipe as the pot boils over on the stove.

There is little preparation for the on the spot decisions you have to make.  The most comfortable path is to do what you know, what your parents did, because after all you turned out ok.

The national news surrounding the Adrian Peterson event moved him from anointed celebrity to condemned criminal.  Companies such as Nike and Castrol pulled major endorsement deals. The NFL was paralyzed in forming a response.

How parents should parent was a topic on news programs, along with culture, geography, and religion. It’s easy to (pardon the pun) be a Monday morning quarterback and judge the way others parent.

At the same time, there was an interesting article this week in the WSJ about a non-profit program called Parent-Child-Home which got a boost from the Robin Hood Foundation.  Funds sent literacy specialists to visit families of young children in low income areas encouraging them to read to their children and not talk ‘babyese’.

Both situations, although dramatically different, are similar in the sense that parents simply do what they learned from their own parents.

It is important to begin a national conversation on parenting.

  1. Take the time to really understand the problem rather than talking in sound bites
  2. Share research on long term impact, whether it is reading to children or corporal punishment.
    Basically educate, don’t legislate.
  3. Help parents understand they don’t have to do what has always been done, but can make choices how to parent based on their own values.

Perhaps Nike and Castrol can move the money kept back for endorsements, and in its place fund this important dialog.

In parenting, there is more than one right answer.  The advisors at Parental Wisdom® would be happy to start the conversation.

We believe in this so strongly, we patented it.

 

Thoughts?

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Our reality should not be their reality

September 9th, 2014

The anniversary of 9/11 is again upon us.  We will replay the horror we witnessed and feel the sadness and loss the victims’ families experience every day.

The scenes of the original attack were aired so many times that the news outlets were asked to stop because children thought the attacks were repetitive.

The news is never meant for young children. 

Recent stories include the beheading of American journalists, war and natural disasters.  Today information is always available, but we have to protect our young children from harsh reality and let them be children as long as we can.

You may want to just play Raffi while you’re in the car!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Where do babies come from?

September 7th, 2014

If you think you know, there are actually several right answers including adoption, surrogate, IVF and others.

There are usually several right answers to questions which is why I am so thrilled about the success of a collaborative work that launched on September 1st and hit #15 on Amazon in the parenting category on September 2nd.

Parents Ask, Experts Answer: Nurturing Happy, Healthy Children provides multiple answers to questions for parents of children age’s two to six.  A panel of thirty-five experts offers advice on some of the most challenging issues faced by parents:

discipline bullying behavior
sleep caregivers play
family relationships siblings separation
special needs education friendship
technology peer pressure money

The best part about this work is that you get to see all expert answers in one place (all questions have at least three expert responses) so that you, the real expert in knowing your child best, gets to choose which response fits best for your unique child and situation.

This concept is so unique it is protected by US Patents 6193518 and 6482012.

Thank you for supporting this work!

  • Please write a review if you’ve purchased and read the book
  • Share the book information with your family and friends via Facebook, Twitter, or email.

After all, it’s much easier on your relationship to suggest they read the book rather than giving advice!

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Believing in Magic Beans

August 30th, 2014

How can the concept of magic beans help our children to be successful in the new school year?

For magic beans to work, you need two things:

  1. Believing in the impossible
  2. Adding a little water

For your child to be successful in the new school year you also need two things:

  1. Belief in their ability to something extraordinary
  2. Adding a little work

I believe in magic beans, and the picture above is proof.

The plant in the picture came from a clipping of a plant originally cared for by my mother-in-law.  Though Nana Doris passed away in 1982 before our children were born, we frequently told them stories about her, and every holiday make our special Nana Doris string beans.

We took the clipping about ten years ago when we helped my father-in-law move out of the house into an apartment, even though the original plant had not grown.

The results speak for themselves.  All we did was:

  1. Believe in family and the love that is always present
  2. Add a little water

How could you not believe in magic beans?

If your children need inspiration, visit my product page on inspiration.  

 

 

Have a wonderful last fling with summer, and a great school year!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom® 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do we really want balance or peace?

July 27th, 2014

You could have balance, but what if balance meant challenges or conflicts both at work and home.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”  Plato

As a leader, you don’t have to solve employees’ problems at home, but you should at least ask so you can understand what people might be dealing with so they can have peace at work.  That question gave me these two (shareable) stories:

Story 1: A manager with two kids, a boy 12 and a girl 4, had been covering for me while I was out on vacation.  When I returned, we were reviewing a situation, and both realized he missed an update. He stopped and explained what had gone on the day before.

He had planned to take his wife out to lunch for her birthday but work ‘fires’ had to be put out, so instead he promised her a nice family dinner.  That is until they were about to leave for dinner, and his daughter asked him how rocks were supposed to taste.

“Rocks?!  You ate a rock?”

She held up five fingers.

“You ate five rocks?”

They spent what was supposed to be a nice family dinner in the emergency room.  It was understandable why he would have missed the update.  The little girl was OK.  Turned out she ate newly spread mulch.

Story 2: When meeting with a new person on my team, I expected questions about the job.  But I always begin by asking how things are at home.  She said she would like a little less conflict; she has three girls.  Not horrible conflict, just chronic.

Her girls do what most parents have experienced where our kids believe our role is to referee, calling the shots on every play.

“She picked the movie last time!”


“Well she never helps bring in the groceries!”

A technique that worked really well for me called ‘Child of the Day’ which is a very simple system of responsibility and rewards.  Each day you mark on the calendar who is child of the day. When it came time to decide what story to read, what movie to watch, or what snack to eat, the decision went to the child of the day. That was the reward part.

The responsibility part is about things that need to get done, but were not necessarily a particular person’s chore.  Those would go to the child of the day.  For example, if I need something out of the pantry, I would ask, “Who is child of the day?”
This approach took me out of the middle. Now, my children are both adults, and if you ask them who the favorite child is, they will both say, “Me!” This really works.

Child of the Day is one of the many expert responses to parents questions in Parents Ask, Experts Answer: Nurturing Happy, Healthy Children.  Yes, this is a shameless book plug!  But please do take a look at the book available for presell on Amazon.

 

Have a wonderful week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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The pendulums sweet spot

July 13th, 2014

There is something to be said of settling in the middle.  I don’t buy in to the nostalgia of how great it was in the 1960’s where every mom was home and kids were out all day playing, only coming in for dinner.

But I was a kid that experienced that kind of childhood, which was the greatest childhood in history.  Not opinion but fact.

Why?

People had more kids (baby boomers are those born in 1946 to 1964) so there were more kids around.  More kids around means more opportunity to play.

Then in 1964, 40% of the population was under the age of nineteen which created the opportunity/explosion of marketing to and for children.  Before all the toys, books, entertainment and activities, kids entertained themselves.

The biggest challenge we face today is a child’s lack of ability to play

I’m talking about the kind of play that is non-supervised, no fees or uniforms involved, where the kids themselves figure out what they’re going to play today.  The kind of play where kids get so dirty, at the end of the day the bath water is black, and they go right to sleep because they are exhausted from having fun.

That doesn’t happen anymore.  Why?

We are afraid

Instead of locking up the bad guys, we lock up our children and keep them inside and in front of electronics.  This holds back their ability to move and play, and argue and make up, and be friends again.  It is important to be cautious, and be careful, but don’t be afraid.

We are competitive

We put them in every kind of summer camp that will help improve their math scores, reading scores and batting average.  So not only are there fewer children these days, but the ones that are around are not available to play because they are scheduled.

We are overwhelmed

We have so much to do, that we put our kids in front of electronics as a means of babysitting and/or entertainment to give us time to get tasks done.  Include them in the tasks, because they are part of a family, and that should be cooperative.

We are Julie the Cruise Director

We fill their lives with activities and events, so there is no time for boredom. Boredom is good, as Mr. Rogers famously said, “You can grow ideas in the garden of your mind.”

 What can you do right now so the pendulum swings back more toward the middle?

Notice I’m not suggesting that we go to the 1960’s.  I believe the sweet spot is in the middle.  Life is different today and many moms need to, or choose to work, and having a choice is a good thing.  The electronics are not bad, and in fact teach our children interesting things that take them to incredible places.  It is the moderation that we need to better manage and focus on free play, because we are not doing much of that at all.

  • Can you get the ball rolling with some unstructured evening activities?
  • Is there a community basketball court?
  • Can you get your kids to organize a baseball game?
  • Can they have a marathon board game event?
  • Break the record for the most hula hoop players?
  • Are they able to do any of these things without adult intervention?
  • And parents, instead of sitting in those sports chairs that have a holder for a cold beverage, get moving yourself!  Bring a bocce game or bean bag toss and play with the big kids, aka the adults.
  • Take up a community cause to help other children.  There is no feeling as wonderful as helping someone else.

The best way to begin is to run the idea by your kids, and ask them what they think.  Get them to organize it, and then when you get enough momentum, be a voice in your community.  If it takes off, ask the school to open the gym on Friday nights for Family Game Nights in the fall.

Then, we can get back to the best part of the 60’s – the village that we all so desperately need and miss.

“You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.” 
― Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why

 

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

 

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You graduated, now what?

June 1st, 2014

“I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and advise them to do it.”

- Harry S. Truman 33rd President

If you are celebrating high school or college graduations this season, it probably feels like you just dropped them off at kindergarten, you blinked, and here you are.

College kids have to be pulled away from their cushy, carefree, totally unrealistic existence to the real world.  Some have secured jobs, many have not, and a very small percentage will be lucky enough to do the work they love.

High school graduates are excited about prom, parties and the pressure being off. They’ll shop for their dorm rooms, connect with their roommates, and in late August kiss their weeping parents goodbye. For these kids, it’s an escape from the endless parade of adults asking three questions since the start of their junior year:

  1.  What colleges will you apply to
  2. What major are you considering
  3. What do you want to do for the rest of your life

With more career choices than ever before, it’s difficult for anyone to figure out, let alone a 16-year-old with limited life experience.  As parents, we want our children to do what they love.

 That is a tall order, which is why I started the Project Imagine!® seminar – to help kids and parents work together to answer the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

 There are a few good things to call out about this webinar:

  1. Since it is a webinar, you can participate from the comfort of your home
  2. It opens the dialog for an honest discussion about choices
  3. There is no single right answer, so it is not a test. Everything depends on the individual and what is important to them.
  4. The ‘homework’ involves the child asking others about what they see.  This is an eye opening and helpful discussion since the child is pleasantly surprised to hear what others (teachers, family, and friends) see as their strengths; great for their self-esteem.
  5. The best part is that it becomes a new connection between parents and kids as you explore and learn about new careers together.

We tell our kids they can do anything they want to do.  Let’s help them actually get there!

 “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? “ -Marianne Williamson

To learn about the webinar, click here

To register, click here.

 The summer is the best time for this!

 Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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Being a good enough mom

May 8th, 2014

If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much. – Jackie Kennedy

Just a short sweet note to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!

A few thoughts to share:

  •  It does take a village, but you need to build it.
  • The concepts of balance and multitasking are improbable, but keep trying anyway.
  • You are imperfect and so are your children.  But what you do every day is to love them unconditionally, and that is why they love you the next morning after a bad day; you taught them that.

For moms celebrating their first Mother’s Day and sadly for those who have celebrated their last Mother’s Day, just know that you are (were) amazing and have had a profound impact.  The world loves you for that.

What your children will remember are the hard times, the fun times and more than anything the wisdom you shared.  Don’t believe me?  Watch Kevin Durant’s tribute – spoiler alert, you will need tissues!

At the end of the day, your children love to talk about your missteps because they love it when the superhero messes up!

So rather than (more) tear jerking mom tributes, let’s laugh at some of our less than stellar moments.  I’ll go first:

When Noelle was around five, I would buy her tights that cost $7 a pair.  The good mom part of me encouraged her to go out and play outside, where she would promptly rip each and every pair.  My response was “Well, you’re going to start buying your own tights!”

In what universe can little kids buy their own clothes?  Please don’t leave me out here alone.  Share a story that your children would love to tell about you.

And if you need a last minute gift, here is an idea.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom® 

 

Screen free week is here!

May 3rd, 2014

Lost time is never found again. – Benjamin Franklin

I’m so excited!  As I previously wrote in my earlier post, Party like it’s 1914, Screen Free Week begins, and I just planned play tweets for the entire month of May.

As a reminder, Screen Free week starts this

Monday, May 5th and runs through May 11th 

In reading the bubble over the heads of my snarky friends and followers, “How do we read tweets if we’re going cold turkey?” The screen free part is family time; after all you most likely have to work!

I love the timing of this program as most families are currently involved in sports so they won’t even miss the screen time!  This is a great way to saunter into summer and set a pattern to enjoy time with each other and the great outdoors.

My prediction is that after a single week of less screen time and more family time, your stress will significantly drop and fun will dramatically increase.

Here are some guides/info to help:

Thanks to the folks from Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood for putting this together!

Hope you find this helpful at the very least, and life changing at best.

Let’s give our children back a childhood! 

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Follow me on Twitter  #justplay