Parents day

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“Remember that your children are not your own, but are lent to you by the Creator.”   ~ Mohawk proverb

Everyone has days, as a parent, you would give a paycheck to have access to the User’s Manual to the children you love. Particularly the child that thinks you are the worst person in the entire world and there is no way you can possibly understand them.

I need to begin with letting you know I love both my son and daughter with a complete understanding of who they are.

Having watched them grow and develop their (very different) personalities from the first breath they drew, they both mirror my and are totally foreign to my thought process. But I have come to appreciate the adults they have grown to be. Both have taken a significantly different path in their lives; but each lives a full and interesting life.

While nurturing your children throughout their lives, I truly believe you are learning about yourself.

Before your first child is born, you are focused on yourself and probably your partner (and maybe your pet). At the precise second your new little human being presents themselves to the world your life is forever changed. I mean forever.

I remember the first time I saw my parents after my son was born I apologized to them for all the heartache I had caused them. And I was a “good” kid – honest. But I felt compelled to tell my parents I immediately understood what pain I caused them: the nights of worry coming home late; choosing a direction they knew wasn’t good for me; marrying young. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing. But I understood my parents concerns at the first breath of my son.

What I learned from my parents was you have to let your children skin their knees sometimes. It’s not good to protect them from living.

You are in a child’s life for love and guidance. I can assure you there were many times I held my breath after talking about options to my son or daughter. They chose the opposite of what I wanted. But again, it wasn’t my journey. So we rode out the choice, good or bad. We dealt with the success or failure of the choice and both learned something about ourselves and each other.

Listen to your children. Hear what they have to say.

Admire they have opinions, hopes and dreams. Don’t tell them they “can’t”. Figure out a way to help them try to accomplish what it is they want (if not dangerous to their well-being).

Your listening needs to begin when your child starts to develop a personality. Listening when they are young, you will acquire the ability to notice any warning signs that can be dealt with at a very young age.

For example, your young person might tell you about a little lie they told or something they may have taken from a friend. Right then and there, have the conversation to correct a potential liar or thief. No yelling, no screaming. Don’t destroy a relationship with them by reacting in judgment. React with care and correction – stern, but with love. Let them hear the concern in your voice.

You should not hide emotion from your children. They need to see you as a person who loves them and wants the best for them.

And let me tell you, it gets very difficult as they get older. There were days and situations I just held my breath and prayed. I knew a given scenario could end up very bad (for my child). We talked, and we talked, and we talked. The choice was for my children to make. The repercussions were for us to deal with. I would take dealing with the repercussions all day long, as opposed to not knowing what was going on (or not being able to give my opinion).

I am by nature a listener. But I am also an opinionated person.

I had to learn to give my opinion and not expect the person to “do what I say”.

I plead my case to see things from my point of view, but that didn’t always happen. I learned to hear what they were saying and respect their choice. Which very often turned out great for them! And when it didn’t work, I was there to listen, to redirect their pain or anger.

My children have taught me many valuable lessons.

They have helped me reach middle age a wiser, more aware woman.

I value people with a different opinion than mine, and understand there is absolutely nothing wrong with another view. I embrace the diversity of people.

It would be a boring world if everyone had the same outlook or values as me. I don’t have to live with people who are different than me, but I enjoy them.

Thanks to my children I am a better adult.

Five habits

Today I heard a news snipit about a subject close to my heart – health.

Dr. David Angus was speaking about how to improve and take control of your health. The doctor’s comments and suggestions mirror what I have been saying most of my adult life.

There have been studies of thousands of people to confirm the benefits of incorporating five key habits to improve the quality of your life.

The first is “regularity”.

Don’t confuse regularity with obsessive compulsive. Understand our body functions best with a rhythm. Design a rhythm to your day. Get up at the same time, have a decent breakfast, lunch and dinner, and go to bed around the same time.

Of course life happens and you need to be flexible with your schedule. But for the most part we need to give our body the luxury of regularity. You will find your body will start to adapt to and thrive on a consistent rhythm.

Next the doctor recommends to “move”.

His explanation was to move ALL day. Society has fallen into a sedentary lifestyle. Even if we go to the gym (or exercise) once a day, we still need to move our body during the day.

Many employment positions today are in an office setting. So we exercise, but sit for the remainder of the day. Not good! We need to get up from our desk and walk or stand.

The doctor referred to a study done on 26,000 transportation workers, comparing the train engineers (who sat most of their day) and the platform workers (who moved most of their day). At the end of the study the engineers had a 60% higher mortality rate. Impressive reason to incorporate movement throughout your day.

One of the main reasons we need to move is to keep our lymphatic system active. A key responsibility of the lymph system is to keep our body from retaining fluids, which aids the immune system and works with the circulatory system to deliver nutrients, oxygen and hormones to our body. So you can see the importance to get up, move and stretch during your day.

The third habit to incorporate into your life is “eat real food”.

This doesn’t mean to stay away from restaurant food necessarily, but to make better choices. Choose foods that are closest to their natural state. Eat more vegetables, nuts, beans, and organic fed meats.

Our society has become accustomed to overcooked and processed vegetables – cooked to moosh. We need to get back to appreciating the flavor of “close to fresh” vegetables. These veggies will make our digestive system function the way it is designed to. We need the roughage in our gut to keep us regular.

I suggest, if at all possible, plan ahead. Take your lunch, which will give you time to plan the quality and also to control the portion (instead of eating your money’s worth at a restaurant). Yes, real food is a little pricier than fast food, but real food choices are well worth the cost.

The last two recommendations go hand in hand: monitor and take charge of your own body.

Get regular blood pressure readings to know how your body is functioning (throughout the day )– to know what your “normal” is.

Monitor your blood sugar levels. Our society is becoming borderline diabetic. Our astronomical sugar and fat consumption are devastating to our bodies.

Blood pressure and blood sugar are easy (you don’t need to go to the dr) ways to start monitoring your health. “Normal” blood pressure is 120/80, so know where you fall into this range. “Normal” blood sugar ranges should stay below 140 mg/dl.

If either blood sugar or pressure consistently rise above the normal guidelines, you need to take charge of examining why. It is your body, it is your sole responsibility to care for it.

In today’s world we have a wealth of available knowledge and information at our disposal. Web sites hosted by medical and holistic professionals have been created to educate those who seek knowledge – use them.

Don’t fall for the fads. Develop sound, realistic habits to keep your body functioning to the best of its ability for many years.

To your health!