Looking for something to do this summer that keeps you together as a family and keeps you moving? Summer is a great time to exercise and a great time to strengthen those family bonds. Below is an article I wrote for More to Life Magazine that gives some suggestions for family activities.
A suggestion: Be yourself around your family. Let down your guard. Goof off. Show your funny side. Make fun of yourself. Let your kids see the kind of kid you were. Let your spouse see the person he or she dated. It’s okay to act like a nut and just have fun. Just don’t do it too often or you may enjoy it.
One warning: Being yourself may induce laughter (unless you’re just a boring person by nature). If you’re allergic to laughing please take extreme caution when letting down your guard and throwing inhibitions to the wind.
Okay, here’s the link: Summertime Family Activity (MTL Magazine, July 2012)
Question: What healthy activities does your family enjoy doing in the summer?
It was time for those awful standardized tests. You remember the ones. The #2 pencils, the timer, the endless questions, the pressure, the teacher saying, “Time’s up. Pencils down. Tests closed.” The thought of it makes my palms sweat and stomach twist into a knot.
Well, for home-schooled kids the test is taken on the computer in the comfort of your own home but the pressure isn’t any less. There are no #2 pencils but a mouse and keyboard can be just as intimidating. The timer is in the upper right corner of the screen, counting down the final moments of your life. The questions scroll by as relentless as a KGB interrogator.
Our second daughter faced this just a couple of weeks ago. We sat her down in front of the computer, that mouse just laughing at her, and I could see the fear on her face, the uncertainty in her eyes. She’s a smart girl. She certainly didn’t lack the knowledge. She just didn’t have confidence. And a shortage of confidence can be a real killer.
Here are 6 ways to build confidence (in your children or anyone else, including yourself):
- Give them tasks that are within their knowledge and skill set. There’s no faster way to frustrate someone than to give him a task he is unable to complete (whether due to lack of knowledge, skill, or tools).
- Instruct them properly before assigning a task or challenge. Everyone needs direction and clear instructions. Navigating without a map can be disastrous.
- Set attainable goals and expectations. It’s okay to stretch a little but keep the goals within reach and expectations should be reasonable and reachable.
- Give them every opportunity to succeed. Nothing breeds success like success.
- Allow them the freedom to fail. Winston Churchill said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” There’s nothing wrong with failure if the failure is used as a learning experience. Show them the proper way to fail, learn from the mistake or mishap, regroup, and try again.
- Give positive feedback. Don’t criticize, don’t belittle. Focus on what they’ve done right and celebrate that. Give constructive criticism when needed and follow it up with suggestions for improvement.
Question: What do you do to build confidence in your kids, yourself, or anyone else?
(I invite you to visit my other blog as well, www.mikedellosso.wordpress.com).
No two people always agree. Sooner or later there will be something that wedges between them and causes a rift. They will disagree, sometimes mildly and the matter can be resolved with an arch of the eyebrows and a nod of the chin, but sometimes they will disagree vehemently and each side will dig in their heels, roll up their sleeves, and prepare for battle.
Disagreements are a part of life. I have my opinion, you have yours, they clash . . . the makings of a disagreement. There’s little we can do to avoid these types of conflict, what we can control, however is how we handle disagreements. And how we handle them will reveal a lot about our character.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when you disagree that will keep you from being disagreeable:
- Know your position and believe in it. Don’t disagree just for the sake of disagreeing. Most often that kind of attitude is driven by pride and is like throwing hot sauce on plate full of jalapeno peppers.
- Determine immediately if the disagreement is worth taking on. Some things are simply not worth discussing. Don’t blow hot around just because you can.
- Be polite and respectful. Never let the conversation deteriorate into name calling and insult flinging. Words will be spoken that can’t be taken back. And yes, words can hurt.
- Avoid the use of absolutes. “You always take the other side.” “You never listen to me.” They’ll become a hurdle that can’t be jumped.
- Keep your cool. No matter how passionate you are about the subject or how emotionally charged the issue is, don’t let emotions rule. Remember, the only person you can control is yourself. Don’t let what the other person says affect the way you behave.
- As much as possible, state facts and minimize opinions. No one can argue with facts. They may argue over how those facts are interpreted but the facts themselves are truth. Focus on the truth.
- Mind yourself. Don’t push blame around, don’t point fingers, don’t divert attention away from yourself. Take responsibility for your own position and words and attitudes.
- Listen to and seek to understand the other person. If you’re only in a conversation to state your points and verbally bully the other person, walk away. The goal of every disagreement should not be to get your way but to understand the other person’s way.
- Know when to call it a day. If the wheels are spinning and no traction is to be found sometimes the two parties just have to agree to disagree. Be civil about it and part on good terms. The conversation may resurface and when it does you’ll be in a good position to step back up to your soap box.
- Know when to concede. Allow yourself to be persuaded or corrected. Pride serves no good purpose. If you’re wrong admit it, if you’ve changed your position state it. Being honest and humble will go much farther than stubbornly standing your ground when your argument has fallen around you.
Remember this . . . there is life outside a disagreement. At the time it may seem the balance of the world as we know it hangs on you making your point and persuading the other person to see it your way but the world will do just fine without your words. Really. Enter into every disagreement with a proper perspective and right attitude. If you have neither, walk away before real harm is done.
So now it’s your turn. What do you keep in mind when disagreeing with someone else to keep from being disagreeable?
(I invite you to check out my other blog as well: www.mikedellosso.wordpress.com).
Source: Michael King’s blog.
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