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Run or Learn

12 Jul

“Oh, yes. The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it…or learn from it.”  – Rafiki (The Lion King)

Stuff happens in life that we have no control over. Sometimes we default to running away from our issues, hiding our less-than-pleasant truths, and building emotional walls to keep people from finding out about our hurts. This may be a default for many of us, but it’s not healthy or productive. We end up emotionally stunted by our past pains and failures.  The trouble with this is that, at some stage, your past catches up with you; and then the healing process is exceedingly more difficult!

The other option is to learn from your past hurts. Figure out why it hurt so much. Did it trigger some insecurity you may have? Be honest with yourself, name your weaknesses and fears, and then get some help to improve them. What could you have done differently? How else could you have reacted? Think of someone you admire – what would they have done? Think about it, make a note of it and remember if for the future.

Life will never be free of failure and hurt. It’s something that affects every one of us. The only thing we can control is how we react and learn from our experiences. It’s important for parents to teach this lesson to their children sooner than later. Being open and honest with your kids will help your kids live a full life with no regrets!

What are some of the greatest lessons you have learnt from your past?

Thoughtful Thursday: Boys Must Defend Girls

28 Jun

boy punchingBoys must defend girls. So if a boy hurts a girl you must punch him!”

Working around children definitely has its perks. You have the privilege of gleaning beautiful little pearls of wisdom. So when Elliot, a rather mischievous 5-year-old boy in my Sunday school class, told me that “Boys must defend girls,” I was incredibly proud of him. What followed was his decree to punch the boys that hurt girls…and I must admit that I was equally proud of him. And when I told his mom, she was slightly shocked, but praised his gallant attitude with equal pride!

Now you may be wondering why we both agreed with this 5-year-old’s philosophy and didn’t tell him to “turn the other cheek” as is so often preached. The reason is simple. Boys have a God-instilled desire to be a hero, to fight a battle, to save a damsel in distress, to live an adventurous life and to stand up for what they believe in. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not advocating unnecessary violence and I do think you can gain a lot of favour by simply turning the other cheek…but not always. There will come a day when a BIG action is required. When the day comes that the bully has gone too far and a battle is threatening, boys especially need to be prepared to fight back.

I don’t believe that God wants our boys to be weak or walked over. These little boys will one day be men, and they will be in charge of business, politics, churches and their families. I don’t want to be responsible for bringing up a generation of kids who don’t know what to stand for and when to stand up for it. So when I see a 5-year-old boy with a sense of purpose who is standing up for what’s right, I will stand up for him too!

Agree or disagree? Is it ok for a boy to punch another kid for doing something bad? What would you encourage him to do instead?

Thoughtful Thursday: We Never Really Grow Up

21 Jun

thoughtful thursday_never grow up“We never really grow up. We only learn how to act in public.”

“Men”. That’s the one word I would use to sum up this quote. And I say this with less of a “tsk tsk” and more with a bout of jealousy that men seem to get this so right! What a relief to not twitch every time I see an item of clothing on the floor or a dirty mug left on a side table. Come to think of it…if I were a man, those items would probably be invisible to my boy lenses. What bliss!

Just for one day, I’d like the ability to wee outdoors without having to squat, to fart and receive a “good one”, to burp and not be shunned, to play soccer on the beach and not be worried about popping out my bikini, to have a round of golf and not even talk about my kids, to sit in front of the TV and not notice that the dogs are eating the cat right off my lap.

But I don’t think I’ll get any of that right any time soon. So I guess I’ll be satisfied with being able to scream like miss Muffit when I see a big, hairy spider; to pretend I’m a mermaid when I swim in the sea, dress like a fairy on summery days, and believe that I really am a lost princess; to throw tantrums when my favourite heels break, and to jump up and down 50 times and giggle like a little girl when my best friend falls in love, gets married or falls pregnant.

I guess girls never really grow up either!

Thoughtful Thursday: Dad or Dud?

14 Jun

dad or dudI wanted this week’s Thoughtful Thursday to be really special for our dads. But my hunt for a great “dad” quote did anything but inspire. I ended up finding a bunch of quotes about “duds” –  the failure, disappointment and non-existence of dads.  There is clearly a crisis when it comes to the relationship between children and their fathers.

There are so many good dads out there; I know lots of them! But their good examples seem to be washed out by all the duds. Abusive and absent fathers are too easily regarded as the norm. Fathers are almost expected to fail. How, then, are they supposed to be good fathers when society doesn’t have high expectations for them to live up to? Fathers need to know how important they are so that they can take their role as leader of their home more seriously; and we need to give them the respect they need to do that. Dads need encouragement. They need to know that they are wanted and that their children depend on them. Dads need to know that their actions may decide the fate of their family.

There is hope. Fathers around the world are stepping up and taking their role more seriously. They’re not bullying their family or letting their family walk all over them. Instead, they are offering their family love, guidance and encouragement. They are taking authority and responsibility for their family. And in turn, they are respected, loved and trusted. They deserve to be called “Dad”.

I hope your child will say this:

“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”

 – Jim Valvano (American college basketball coach)

Thoughtful Thursday: Always be Batman

7 Jun

be yourself or be batmanToday’s thought is inspired by the men in our lives. Who didn’t grow up wanting to be Batman…or Batgirl!? Who still doesn’t? And why shouldn’t we strive to be someone who stands up for good and defends the weak? Why shouldn’t we take a risk and make a difference in the world?

One of the coolest things about Batman is that no one (well, almost no one) knows his real identity. Bruce doesn’t get the recognition he deserves and he’s ok with that. He knows he’s just as flawed as the rest of us and would be called a hypocrite if he pretended to be any better. But when he dons those tights and cape, he is invincible! There’s nothing that can stop him from striving for greatness.

So when you think that being “you” isn’t good enough, think about being Batman for a day. Guys, pretend you drive the Batmobile. Ladies, put on those tights and switch the cape for red lipstick. Then get out and plot your next world changing mission!

Being you is brilliant; being Batman is way cooler!

Today YOU are YOU

24 May

dr. seuss today you are you

It’s our first Thoughtful Thursday and what better way to start it off than this.

Dr. Seuss has a remarkable way of turning profound concepts into something simple and easy to understand. If you’re over-analyzing who you are and who you are meant to be, just take this advice…and PLEASE teach it to you kids! Be happy and accept yourself for who you are.

“Today YOU are YOU, that is truer than true.

There is no one alive who is YOUER than YOU.”

– Dr. Seuss

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