Cook kneeding dough

How Mindfulness Builds Confidence

Whatever the outcome, our confidence grows from taking risks. 

That sounds nice, and it may have benefited people like Elisabeth Moreno, CEO of Lenovo France, who spoke about this in her interview.

But is it true for ME and YOU?  How can I find out…safely?

For Your Action

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” — Benjamin Franklin

Many of us take in insights with the “FYI, For Your Information” mindset.

It’s like reading a cooking recipe.  And stopping there.

Moreno invites us to go further.  “For Your Action” and “For You to Transmit.” 

That’s like rolling up your sleeves, getting fingers in the dough, and kneading…and kneading some more.

In a work setting it’s about sharing the passion for excellence, the engagement that comes from connecting with another person, and the pride in a job well done.

This process of learning to transmit is (somewhat) straightforward with hard skills.  Take cooking: Turn the heat to 180° and bake for 30 minutes.  (Although, in France, I discovered recipes which instruct “Cook until done.” Huh?!)

What about with soft skills like risk-taking and confidence-building?  The steps-to-success for getting out of one’s comfort zone vary from individual to individual.

Mindfulness Makes Confidence-Building Easier

That’s why it’s helpful to be mindful of our specific behaviors and attitudes which help us grow.

We pause.

Breathe.

Bring back into our memory a past risk that worked out well.  Revisit it through a benevolent lens.  What worked?  What did I learn?

Then recall a risk that did not turn out as desired.  What did I learn about myself?  About others?

Step back again.

What did I gain from this reflection?

Confidence-Building Worksheet

Try this worksheet to guide you through the process.

Here’s an example of ways I have grown through professional challenges.

Confidence-Building-Worksheet-Pro

Click here to download the pdf.

Confidence-Building in Personal Life

You and I take risks at work and in life.  Here’s an example from my situation as a wife and mother of teens.

Confidence-Building-Worksheet-Personal

Click here to download the pdf.

For Your Action

It’s your turn!

Click here to download a blank worksheet for YOU.

Share this worksheet with a friend, family member, or colleague.  It’s a powerful discussion starter!

Dad and daughter cuddling and smililng

Spell “love” T.I.M.E.

Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

Gift Certificates to offer to your children and your spouse – “My Time, Your Way”
by Denise Dampierre of SoSooper

How to receive this gift?  Take the fun quiz on the Parent Advent Calendar today and you could be the lucky one to win the draw.

Time as a present to offer

Money cannot buy time.  Not when it comes to time spent with kids.

Play-together-time often misses the Christmas list…AND yet, it’s the gift kids crave.

How does one “give” time?  How can one make it feel like a present?

That’s why we created these Gift Certificates.  Personalize with your child’s name and you signature, et voilà!  You have a valuable stocking stuffer you and your children will cherish.

Click here to download Gift Certificates.

Kids and Parents Learn Through Play

Play teaches children how to overcome boredom, to follow rules, to win and lose well.

Let kids direct the play (that’s your gift). You’ll discover them WHILE helping your child learn life-skills.

You thought your daughter was impatient? She spends ½ hour dressing and undressing a doll! That’ll stretch the fortitude of many adults.

One Mom’s Story

The first year I offered these gifts to my sons they all invited me to play their favorite video game.  “Oh, no! Wrong gift!” I thought.

These shared screen times taught me so much.  This time was “extra video time” for the children and since the intent was to share a moment together, they willingly spent 30 minutes teaching me why they like this particular game, what makes it exciting, and how to win.

I observed their skills (or lack of) in anticipation, in strategizing, in concentration, and more.

And the following week when they struggled with homework, we applied ideas from the game to help concentration.  “Let’s create levels.  When you finish your first math problem, you reach level 2!”

The next year, I gave each child two gifts of time. One could be used for games on screens. The other was for something else of their choice.  One child wanted to learn more about his bank statement.  Another wanted to go shopping.

I kept doing this for years, even when our eldest was in high school.  He asked for a visit to the ophthalmologist to see about contact lenses!

You Don’t Feel Like It

Screen games or doll dressing isn’t your cup of tea? Is homework theirs?

Look to the bigger picture.  You’re creating memories, proving their importance, and connecting on their level!  You’ll be amazed how that encourages them to seek to connect on issues of importance to you…like picking up their bags and coats in the front hallway.  Seriously.

The Children Don’t Feel Like It

Kids might act like they don’t want to play with you.

“Children often resist love when they need it the most,”

assert Dr. Scott Turansky and nurse Joan Miller, authors of Parenting is Heart Work. Be creative and kindly insistent. They might be testing the sincerity of your offer.

If the kids don’t want to play, consider admiring them for 15 minutes. No words. No judgement.  Simply seeking to understand them in their environment.

Say “Thank You”

That magic word for all ages concludes your time together on a positive note.

The Biggest Kid of Them All

How about playing with your spouse……! We’ve got a gift certificate for them too!

Gift Certificate for couple's romance
Gift Certificate for couple's romance

To receive Gift Certificates click here.

Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash.com

Girl enthralled by candles

Spend a Moment in Wonder

Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

A Candle for Relaxation and Well-Being
from (Une Parenthèse Bougie)

How to receive this gift?  Take the fun quiz on the Parent Advent Calendar today and you could be the lucky one to win the draw.

Une parenthese bougie
Today’s gift. A scented candle for relaxation and well-being from (Une Parenthèse Bougie)

Candle Wonder

There is something wonder-full about candlelight.  For kids of all ages!

Is it the hypnotic way the flame flickers?

Or the association of candles with memory-filled events

  • Birthdays
  • Fancy meals, like at a restaurant or with the “grown up plates”
  • Visits to churches where candls flicker and light strwons through the color-filled stained-glass windows
  • And Christmas or Hanukah!

And it might be with the way adults treat fire with such care.  “Darling, CAREFUL. Your can get burned.” Literally.

Love flickers like flames too.  A spark enflames and warms or burns. Figuratively.

Candle magic for children

 

Children’s Questions – What do they wonder about?

Children have questions about fire and love.  They have been hurt or seen others in pain.  Why? How come?

How to answer their queries…when we hardly have answers ourselves.

What if activities with candles could help shed light on your children’s searching for answers about loving others and about being loved.

Questions like

  • “Do you love me more than _______?”
  • “Does love stop?”
  • “So many bad things happen.  I’m so small.  Can just a tiny bit of good make a difference?”

“Why be good when there is so much bad?”

Children sure do have a knack for asking Some. Tough. Questions.

Do you or I even have the answer to this one?  If we did, could we express such complex responses in words that our children can understand?

Candle Activity

Here is an activity that conveys the power of hope in the face of just a tiny bit of light.

How to:

  1. Take your children into a totally dark room.
    Sometimes the only place is a windowless bathroom.  One friend spoke of taking the children into their WC (in France there is a room with just the toilet seat).  What unique memories they cherish!
  2. Bring along one candle and a match or lighter.
  3. Notice the blackness without making it scary.
    “I can’t see anything!”
    “How many fingers am I holding up?”
    “Let me try and find your nose…oh is that your ear instead?!”
  4. Ask the kids how they feel…and how this makes them want to act.
    “I feel alone so I want to talk and have you talk to me so that I know I’m not alone.”
    “I feel lost so I’m scared to move. I don’t want to hurt myself.”
  5. Light the candle.
  6. Notice that it is one-small-flame in One. Whole. Room.
  7. Now ask how they feel and how this makes them want to act.
    “I see just enough to move and not hurt myself. I can move.”
    “I see you and I know I am not alone.  I can find your hand and we can be together.”

The children just EXPERIENCED the answer to their philosophical quandary.  One small light makes a HUGE difference. “Be a light, darling.  Be kind even if others are being mean.”

Child holding candle

“Does Love Stop?”

What happens when grandfather dies?  Or when couples separate? Or when friends move to another city?  Does love stop?!

This question surely benefits from answers in layers.  A few words one day.  A different approach a next day.  Reading a book together about the subject.  And possibly this activity with a candle.

Candle Activity

What you need:

It works best with a candle, something to light it, a cup to turn upside down over the flame.  A transparent cup or glass makes this even more dramatic.

How to:

  1. Gather the children around the lighted candle on the table.
    Admire the flames and it’s lively flicker.
  2. Notice together how this candle is like love, burning and warm.
  3. Cover the candle with the cup turn upside down over the flame. Allow a bit of smoke to gather inside the cup before smothering out the flame.
  4. Remove the cup and notice how the smoke is visible and rises from the still glowing wick. It rises in a clear ribbon of smoke and then diffuses into the air and throughout the room.
  5. Notice how we even breathe in tiny bits of the rest of the flame and carry it in our bodies!

In a similar way, the love for the child remains when someone dies or distance separates.  Love takes on a different form, one that can travel far.

Even when we do not see the flame or feel its warmth as we did before, the love is still there.

“Do you love me more?”

We do this activity in our Positive Discipline classes.  We”ll discover it together in person.  Ask about upcoming classes here.

 

Wishing you peace AND growth as we all struggle through understanding and living out Love.

Contact (Une Parenthèse Bougie)

Family coaching paradigm

See through Someone Else’s Eyes

Today’s Gift on the Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home advent calendar for parents

One hour of Family Coaching
with Jane Mobille, PCC Professional Certified Coach working with executives, individuals, and families 

How to receive this 1 hour off on a Family Coaching session?  Take the fun quiz on the Parent Advent Calendar today and you could be the lucky one to win the draw.

What is Family Coaching?

Family coaching benefit

A family coaching session is a special kind of confidential conversation between a coach, and a family wishing to explore a specific issue causing tension among members at home. The coach receives the family with compassion, curiosity, and non-judgment. Each member of the family has the opportunity to share their perspective on the situation while the others listen. The coach leads the family in an exploration of choices and impacts. The goal is to come up with a few actions to implement in order to reach a solution which satisfies the needs of each family member.

As the teen shared with Jane in his text message:  PHEW!

 

The Generational Paradigm Gap

Do you expect your children to share your priorities?

We often hope so. In an ideal world, the children would brush their teeth without needing reminding, they would be ready on time to go to school, and they would be motivated for school work and have a vision for their future.

Reality check.

Our children like to play, get distracted and want attention, and simple tasks can take forever to accomplish.

Parents and kids see the world through different lenses. This paradigm gap creates stress in families.

Today’s gift helps create bridges between the mother, father, and children’s perspectives.

smiling teenager with parents

Jane is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) currently coaching executives at Kedge Business School and leading her own practice for executives, individuals, and families. She especially enjoys coaching teens and young adults as they build confidence, make intentional choices, and live a life of curiosity.  Jane is a contributing author for the online magazine, INSPIRELLE, and editor of AAWE News.

In short, Jane excels in communication:

  • listening,
  • expressing herself,
  • helping you and your children listen, and
  • creating a safe environment to express yourselves.

 

What Does my Child See?

A friend, Vincent Cassigneul, recently took this picture

  • Of a blurry Eiffel Tower
    or
  • Of a clearly focused man taking a picture of the Eiffel Tower

Vincent Cassigneul Eiffel Tower

Vincent chose to focus on the admirer of the Eiffel Tower in her flashing glory, as opposed to the monument herself. We usually see this majestic monument towering over Paris, occupying center stage.

Did he “get it all wrong”? Did I?

Or should we be asking a different question?

The Wife and Mother-in-Law go to Harvard

An optical illusion used by Stephen Covey further helps us understand that process.

In his book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey shares an example from a Harvard Business School class. Everyone was shown the same optical illusions. ONLY he had prepared people differently. One half of the class had previously seen a sketch of a haggard, old woman and the other half had been given a drawing of a chic lady.

optical illusion used by stephen coveyWell, half the class found the woman in the optical illusion attractive and the other half quite the opposite. Tensions rose over the disagreement.

Finally, some students began to ask questions, and listen.

“See this line. That’s the old woman’s mouth.”

“Oh, for us it is the chic lady’s necklace!”

And exploration ensued until all the students could identify BOTH women depicted in the optical illusion.

Are you and your child at each other’s throats unnecessarily too?

Try asking questions to understand your child’s perspective.

A tool, like this optical illusion or Vincent’s photo (graciously made available to us, thank you), can help launch the discussion.

Parent to the child: “What do you see?”

Child answers.

Parent purposefully and playfully takes an opposing stand. “What?! This photo is NOT about the Eiffel Tower!” or “This is a drawing of ONE. O.L.D.  woman.”

Let your child react.

Then explore.

“Tell me what you see and point with your finger.”

 

How to start?!

This conversation sounds easy, but it’s harder to launch in real life.

(That’s where Jane Mobille’s family coaching brings resolution to communication blockages and harmony returns to the family.)

Try starting these paradigm discovery conversations at home.

Want the Wife and Mother-in-Law optical illusion and the photo of the Eiffel Tower?  Sign up here and we’ll send them to you tomorrow….along with the news of who won the Family Coaching special offer by Jane Mobille.

Jane can be reached at jam.atlantic@gmail.com

From “Brush your teeth” to “I love you”

This post is for moms and dads who feel like they repeat themselves 1000x/day.

How can we get children to listen IN OUR HOME?

Effective parenting tools are great…but help me apply them!

That’s why we developed SoSooper Parent + Child workshops like the one we held on Saturday: Stop Repeating Yourself – Listen with Curiosity Questions.

Sign up for this workshop.  We’re doing it again in central Paris on October 7.

Parents Want Tools & Kids Want Play

The parents’ objective centered on getting the kids to listen. They wondered how it could be possible.

The children wanted to have fun, go on an outing, and be with mom and dad.

We aim to please both.  The smiling faces tell us we did.

We’re doing So Sooper!

Surprise-filled Activities

Parents & Children switch roles

“Kids, would you like to play Mom & Dad for a while?”  Children’s eyes popped excitedly…and off we went to try on costumes.

Commands Lead to Rejection

Scene 1:

The parents’ eyes and ears grew wide as they heard their children give them instructions.  In a commanding voice, 6-year-old told his dad to “Put his coat on” and to “Stop playing on the computer.”

Father responded with “No, no, no” until he exclaimed, “Woah! Son.  You’re bossing me around!”

Hummm.

Questions Generate Engagment

Scene 2:

The children (acting as parents) then replaced the instructions with questions. Here was a fun exchange:

Parent (played by a child): “What is our agreement on Computer Time?”

Child (played by a parent speaking defiantly): “I can play when I want!”

Parent (played by a child): “What is OUR AGREEMENT on Computer Time?”

Child (played by a parent):  Silence. “OK.  10 minutes.”

Everyone agreed that it felt better to be saying and hearing the questions.

But, parents enquired, how can we come up with the right questions when we need them?

Digging for Questions

For our next activity, parents and children gathered together in their own family units and explored for questions.

The kids knew by heart (!) the instructions repeated 1000 times.  They rarely really understood why.

Precious Sharing

Here is a precious exchange between a father and child:

Child: “I know, I know.  You always repeat that I need to brush my teeth.  Why is it important to brush my teeth?

Father: “So that you don’t have cavities.”

Child: What is important about a vacaty?”

Father: “A cavity is when your tooth gets sick and it hurts a lot.”

Child: Why is it important that my teeth don’t hurt?”

Father: “Because I love you.  I don’t want you to hurt.”

Child: Smile. “Because you love me.” Grin.

Finding Solutions

Together they came up with a question that Dad could ask at teeth brushing time,
“What do you need to do so that your teeth won’t hurt?”

 

This is what SoSooper is about.  Turning a challenging situation into a moment of connection between parent and child.

SoSooper helps parents turn a challenge into solutions while staying connecting with their kids. Click to Tweet

Join us next week.  We’re doing this same workshop in the center of Paris.  Click here to sign up.

home

Calm Kids’ Anger – Create Positive Routines TOGETHER

How perplexing for a parent when his child bursts out in anger!

Where did THAT come from?

How to calm the fury?

How to avoid the anger?

Do you know?

Kids get frustrated (then annoyed, then angry) when they do not know what to expect.
That’s why finding a solution TOGETHER is so powerful.

Join our Parent + Child Workshop

  • When:    Saturday, Sept 23 from 3:30 – 5:00 pm
  • Where:     American Church in Paris, 65 quai d’Orsay, 75007, Room G7
  • How much:    20€ per family
  • With:    Denise Dampierre (me) – Positive Discipline trainer,
    Mom of 4 boys, Harvard MBA

    
 parent child workshop for anger management

Here’s what we’ll do TOGETHER

1. Hunt down “the Issue”

EVERY family has an issue.  For you it might be getting out the door on time, for another it could be interrupting, and for a yet another it might be about TV time.

No family is perfect…which is what makes life so interesting and gives us hope for growth.

Through fun activities, we’ll help you put a name to that moment that makes one of you fly off the handle.  You’ll see that you are in great company…and maybe you’ll even smile (a tiny bit) about it :).

2. Remember the LOVE

The reason you all get worked up is because you care.

We’ll lead you in an activity for family loving.  Not corny.  Totally funny.

3. Make a Wish List

There is an issue, so TOGETHER, you and your child will discuss “the dream situation.”  If you had a magic want, you would…..

Some of those wishes could even come true.  We’ll help you  pick & choose.  This becomes your positive routine.

4. Create a Positive Routine Chart

Now that you have your plan, we’ll help you create your own PERSONALIZED reminder.

Check what these kids did…and notice how proud they are of themselves!

5. Enjoy Goûter

Nothing like a little moment to recharge and to mingle with other like-minded parents and kids.

We’ll be around to answer your questions too.

Family Feedback ToolKit

Tip Top Family Activity

One of our most strategic family activities.  It helps everyone focus on growth and on becoming the best person we can be.

Read more about The Family Feedback.

The ToolKit includes

  • Tips for success
  • Worksheet (one for each participant)
  • Recap sheet – to remember your goals throughout the year

Click on the images below to download

Tips

Worksheet

Recap

Happy New Year tiara for girl

The Family Feedback with little children

How much can your young child tell you about YOUR job as a parent?

Quite a lot.

By listening you share encouraging words for your kids.

The Family Feedback with tots

The Family Feedback is ONE GREAT FAMILY TIME where kids give feedback to parents. They start with the good stuff 🙂 and move onto deeper discussion.  Read more here.

For very young kids, we stick to sharing family highlights.  

You want your kids to associate “family” with “fun”?  Then ask them to tell you about a fun time with Mom or Dad.  This strengthens the neural messaging in their brains so that they can more easily access memories of great times as a family.

Our brain is amazing…and malleable.

Ask, “Tell me about a time you felt really happy with us.”

“When we played ball together.”

Help your child fully recall with the experience through specific and factual questions.

“What color was our ball?” “Was it before or after lunch?” “Who else was playing with us?”

Then gently probe for what generated the positive emotions.

“What was soooooo great?” “Which part made you feel the most special?”  “What did you do to show you were happy?”

Thank your child.  

“Your telling me when you were happy makes me very happy too.  Thanks, Darling.”

We tried it & loved it

Here’s what one mother shared after a SoSooper workshop where she and her three year old daughter enjoyed such a conversation:

“My daughter was probably a little bit young (only 3) and I think was struggling to really engage with the activities. However, even though she dealt with it on her level, I think she still got a lot out of the experience – and found it nice that it was a time where mummy was ready to listen to her and find out what she found fun and loving about being in our family.

This workshop reminded me that we do all right as a family (eating together, playing together, respecting each other). As I’m sure you know only too well – it’s a tricky job, mummying, and can seem very unrewarding sometimes. If I were a business, (actually I’m a secondary school teacher) I wouldn’t put up with clients who were so demanding and so seemingly ungrateful for all my efforts. I think what you’re doing is so important – just like in any job, you have training for that ‘shot in the arm’ of enthusiasm and clarity to do your job better every day. Parents need that more than anyone!”

Free downloadDownload Free Tools

SoSooper prepared some worksheets for you:

  • to prepare
  • to succeed
  • to remember

Click here to get your free downloads.

Cover photo by Jerry Kiesewetter on Unsplash

Boy on swing set

Build a Thriving Family Culture

Games are fun.  AND they have a purpose & rules.

What if life–and the culture of our families–were like a game:  

  • fun
  • with a purpose
  • with clear guidelines to know how to excel, to be one’s best together 🙂

Life’s BIG rules are called values.  These foundational principles express an understanding of right & wrong, of helpful vs. harmful.  Communities, like family, thrive with positive and common values.

Families enjoy a culture where everyone thrives when “the way WE do things” is clear, helpful, and practiced by all.

The BUILD A THRIVING FAMILY CULTURE web-workshop enables parents & children, together, BOTH to identify the essential guiding principles for their home AND to put them into action.

What You Gain

Join us as we guide parents & kids in making family life fun, purpose-filled, and a means for all to thrive.  We’ll help you

  • Identify your top KEY VALUES
  • Explore how these principles translate into action
  • Create a personalized and visual reminder to keep practicing those values at home.
Family values tree
Family culture is alive, growing, and fruitful…like trees. Hospitality with family means taking turns…

 

What is it?

It’s ½ hour of time well spent in rich parent-child discussion.   This is an online event for parents with their children. You connect through the Internet from the comfort of your couch and cuddle up with your kids.  We guide you in a family discussion and a simple craft.

With SOSOOPER Web-Workshops

– Moms and dads establish a framework .
– Kids get heard.
– Everyone wins.

With whom? How?  When? How much?

Our online seminars are for parents AND their children.  These facilitated family discussions are led by Denise Dampierre, founder and CEO of SoSooper where we re-open dialogue between parents & kids.

  • Schedule an online seminar just for your family. Send your request and date preferences.  We’ll work it out.  Personalized seminars run $40 per ½ hour.
  • Contact us to ask about group online seminar.  See our Calendar for upcoming dates.  Participation to be discussed.

Sign up on the SoSooper App for our Build a Thriving Family Culture online seminar to create a family culture where everyone thrives.

What folks say
‘Build a Thriving Family Culture’ is SOSOOPER!

From Sabrina – “New Thoughts”

This is Sabrina here!
I enjoyed the activities a lot!   Our family chose ‘Respect” as main value.   The workshop made me really think about how I should be respectful at different times of the day. I never really thought about the different ways thoroughly.
Thank you for that!

From Naomi – “You mean values lead to actions!!!”

Thank you so much for organizing the activities for us! I found that they really made me think about family values and how i can put them into action. I also found it interesting to hear what my mother, little sister and I thought about the different ways we could be respectful and at different times. The activities made me think about values and respect from a different and deeper perspective!
Thanks.

From Nina – “Such positive mother-daughter talk :)”

Dear Denise,

A gigantic and heartfelt thank-you for last evening’s web workshop! As you must have read between the lines in their respective emails, Naomi and Sabrina were completely and pleasantly surprised as they had barely any clue of what to expect although we had printed out the worksheets together.

What was amazing was how all three of us focused on respect amongst all the values – maybe it was the fact that we keep stressing on the need for this or the fact that we often tend to lose track of it amidst our daily stresses and hectic routines. It was instant agreement on the prized value.

The girls are both committed participants now and you must have received their feedback forms already! Thank you so much for also replying to them instantly and giving them so much encouragement. You are absolutely right in advising us to keep trying even if we stumble and rise again.

I think the big change is that we are learning to remove ourselves from the situation and are learning to view it objectively from various angles. Taking a cue from you, we have also been trying to role play to learn more about our feelings, thoughts and actions!

Thank you again, Denise, for becoming a part of our family life on a day-to-day basis!

 

Cover Photo by Myles Tan on Unsplash