Child giving kiss in thanks

Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude

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

A Family Meeting for your family in your home
facilitated by Denise Dampierre, Positive Discipline educator

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.

A Family Meeting is an opportunity for children to give feedback to parents, both about what they appreciate in family and areas where they would like to see change.  Parents always seem intrigued…then wary.  “What if the kids will make a laundry list of our faults and we will feel overwhelmed?”

With a clear and positive structure, Family Meetings are enjoyed by all!

Father mother son daughter in family meeting

Today’s gift is a Family Meeting in your home with your family held under the guidance of Positive Discipline trained Denise Dampierre.  After a brief introduction, you will begin the Family Meeting by sharing thanks.  What each family member appreciates in the other.  Then we will broach issues to change and close by celebrating your family.

This structured discussion lasts 30 plus minutes, depending upon the number and ages of the children.

The sharing of THANKS sets the tone for the Family Meeting. 

An attitude of gratitude also sets the tone for this gift-giving and gift-receiving season.

The Christmas Nightmare

You may have experienced this too.  It’s Christmas morning and the SUPER-EXCITED kids are Ready. Set. GO. to open their gifts.

Son and Daughter rip off the wrapping paper (you spent hours to put on) and discard the shreds on the living room floor.

Then they wail.  They did not receive The. ONE. Present. they oh-so-badly wanted.  They gave you a list of 10 wishes and you offered them 9 and, oooops, you missed the right one.

Or it could be they don’t like the chocolates offered by Great Aunt Martha.   Your child prefers milk chocolate with krispies, not this fancy (and expensive) stuff.

Or a sibling received better or more presents than they did….

The supposed-to-be magic festivities result in an emotional breakdown.

When Christmas Magic Means Fair

Parents work hard to prevent such a scene.  We spend fortunes on our children.  We make lists and compare the “value” of gifts so that the kids feel Christmas is “fair.” (Fair to whom? To you? To the child born in South Sudan?)

What about another approach?  It might require a paradigm shift.

When Christmas Magic Means Thankful

Remember the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” with James Stewart. Stewart plays George Bailey, a kind-hearted man who regularly sacrificed his well-being for the good of others.  One of these altruistic acts got him into major financial trouble.  In desperation, George turns to the town’s banker-tyrant, Mr. Potter.  Potter, referring to George’s life insurance policy, tells him

“You’re worth more dead than alive.”

That’s when George decides to take his life … but is given the chance to see what life would be like had he not been born. He is given the gift of glimpsing the value of his life which, in his discouragement he had been too blind to see.

It’s people’s thankfulness for George that transformed the situation.  First came the change in attitude.  This then enabled a reversal in circumstances.

George Bailey richest man in town

Gratitude Characteristic

There’s a multiplier effect to appreciativeness.

Thankfulness opens the eyes to more gratitude.

Being thankful for a tree with flickering lights leads to gratitude for electricity, and an income to buy the decorations, and the dedication of the garbage folk who pick up the spindly debris (stuffed into those recycling bags of course!)

Gratitude Can be Taught

Gratitude can be taught!

Thankfulness is a mindset which develops through practice.  Like any habit, the more we do it, the easier it is…and then it just comes naturally.

Like many new skills, it can feel awkward at the beginning.  We all start somewhere.

Olympic medalists did with their sports.

We can too with our thanks.

So when folk shrug their shoulders and excuse their self-focus with “It’s just not part of my personality or part of my culture,” think again.  It might not be part of their practice.  Yet!

Olympians excel in their domain through a discipline training plan.  So, what plan will you put in place to train yourself and the kids in gratitude?

Olympic skiier
Olympians began…
Little boy on baby skis
…like this.

 

Train as of Today

Advance step by step to encourage a thankful spirit (and preventing a Christmas Nightmare) in the next few days

  • Today:
    • Be an example of thankfulness.  Say, “Thank you” five times today.
    • As you put your child to bed ask them about one thing for which they are thankful today
  • Tomorrow
    • Be thankful out loud for something that you usually take for granted: electricity, sunshine, comfy sofas
    • Say “Thank you” to your partner while your children are within earshot
    • Share ONE Great Thanks to every child
  • After-tomorrow
    • Be thankful for this day. So excited to see what it will bring!
    • Transform a “calamity” (spilled milk, dirty clothes…) into a question. What could you and I do differently next time?  Say “Thanks for this time thinking of solutions together.  I learned about you and felt heard too.”
    • Share a train of thanks. “I’m thankful for a car.  It makes it possible to visit Grampa and Grandma.  I’m thankful that you have so many people who love you.  I’m even thankful that I’m hungry because I’m looking forward to our meal together even more!”
  • The day after that
    • You decide!

Prepare for a great Christmas morning NOW by practicing thanks. 

Take the time to practice.

Hands helping each other

Faites la Paix avec Quelqu’un

Le Cadeau du Jour sur le calendrier de l’avent Joy. Peace. Love. @ Home

1 heure de coaching pour réparer une relation + des SMS quotidiens de suivis pendant 1 semaine avec Denise Dampierre 

Comment recevoir ce cadeau ? Faites le quizz amusant du Calendrier de l’Avent pour Parents aujourd’hui, et vous avez l’opportunité de gagner le cadeau grâce à notre tirage au sort. N’hésitez plus, la chance est avec vous !

Le cadeau du jour vous aide à vivre une vie sans regrets et à réparer vos relations. Vous recevrez une heure de coaching pour créer un plan de réconciliation et vous bénéficieriez d’un suivi SMS quotidien pendant 1 semaine pour vous encourager et modifier votre plan selon vos besoins.

Réconcilier ?  C’est la Question

Obtenons l’avis sur ce sujet de personnalités connues :

Steve Jobs, fondateur de Apple entre autre

Quel que soit l’étape de la vie dans laquelle nous sommes en ce moment, au final, nous allons devoir affronter le jour ou le rideau tombera.

Faites un trésor de l’amour pour votre famille, de l’amour pour votre mari ou femme, de l’amour pour vos amis…

Que chacun agisse avec amour et occupez-vous de votre prochain.

Clayton Christensen, professeur à Harvard Business School.  En parlant des relations parents-enfants :

Le temps de planter un arbre est avant que vous ayez besoin de son ombre.

Charmantes Dames

Que feriez-vous aujourd’hui pour que votre relation reste aussi forte et vive demain ?

L’histoire d’une maman

Voici un aperçu d’une conversation de coaching avec une mère de quatre enfants :

Maman: “Je ne veux pas faire face aux erreurs du passé que j’ai pu commettre avec mes enfants. Je suis humaine.”

S’excuser ? Non !

“Voici comment je traite mes erreurs du passé. C’est comme si je les balayais sous le tapis et les plaçais derrière moi pour que je ne les vois pas.”

Nous avons tous les deux beaucoup ri en imaginant la scène et ce que les enfants verraient : une mère souriante avec un tapis TRES CAHOTEUX derrière elle! LOL

Pendant que nous parlions, elle a admis que les débris se trouvaient vraiment entre elle et ces enfants, comme un obstacle à escalader pour gagner de l’intimité.

Maman: “Un petit obstacle n’est pas un problème.”

Coach: “Quel est votre objectif avec vos enfants? Avoir une grande intimité ou de petits problèmes?

Hand building lego wall
Les barrières se construisent ou se détruisent ?

Désolé Semble Etre le plus Difficile des mots

“Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word” – le titre d’une chanson de Elton John

“Mais j’ai raison!”

Les parents peuvent se demander: “Pourquoi s’excuser quand j’ai raison?!”

Il faut deux personnes pour avoir un conflit. Très rarement une partie a 100% raison et l’autre a complétement faux.

En ce qui concerne le problème sous-jacent entre vous et votre enfant, vous avez probablement raison. La chambre a besoin d’être nettoyée. Il faut rentrer à l’heure après la fête. La façon dont vos enfants parlent aux aînés compte également.

Et le processus compte aussi. Peut-être avez-vous eu une réaction excessive ? Êtes-vous fermé aux commentaires de votre enfant qui voulait partager son point de vue ? Des distractions ont-elles limitées votre capacité à vous concentrer sur votre bien-aimé  ?

Durant le coaching, j’aide les parents à savoir quand ils ont mis de l’huile sur le feu et que cela a entraîné des tensions dans la famille.

Ne soyez pas désolé de demander à votre enfant de ranger sa chambre. C’est votre devoir de parent.

Vous pouvez vous sentir attristé de lui crier dessus quand il ne vous a pas répondu après que vous lui ayez demandé de faire quelques choses plusieurs fois. “Et, chérie, est-ce que nous pouvons travailler ensemble de telle sorte que je ne sois pas tenté d’élever la voix parce que tu ne me réponds pas plus rapidement ?

“Est-ce que les excuses vous rendre plus faibles?”

Au contraire. Des excuses sincères de votre part vous rende authentique, une des qualités que les adolescents apprécient chez les adultes.

Marilyn Price-Mitchell, rappelle aux parents que le respect est assimilé à un exemple de comportement et de langage respectueux, et non à un acte “ d’’enseignement ” traditionnel (un discours). Même les jeunes enfants comprennent quand les adultes ne vont pas dans leur sens. À l’adolescence, ces messages contradictoires peuvent entraîner des divisions de plus en plus profondes entre les adolescents et les adultes.

(Marilyn Price-Mitchell est l’auteur du livre “Tomorrow’s Change Makers: Reconquérir le pouvoir de la citoyenneté pour une nouvelle génération”. Psychologue du développement et chercheuse, elle travaille à l’intersection du développement positif de la jeunesse et l’éducation.)

Chat et chien réconciliés
Comme c’est BEAU la réconciliation !

Se réconcilier, c’est choisir d’aimer

Nelson Mandela disait :

“La rancœur est le poison que l’on boit en pensant tuer son ennemi.”

Se réconcilier ne signifie pas qu’un comportement incorrect devient tout à coup acceptable. Une mauvaise action reste mauvaise.

Réparer une relation, c’est choisir d’aimer même quand on a été blessé et d’oublier sa rancune pour avancer.

Se reconnecter met la priorité dans la relation plutôt que de se concentrer sur le manque de respect, le retard perpétuel, ou le comportement difficile de nos enfants.

Il se peu…

Il arrive souvent (mais pas toujours) que lorsqu’une personne reconnaisse ses torts dans un conflit, l’autre le fasse aussi.

 

Note: Ce coaching sera réalisé avec Denise Dampierre, une éducatrice spécialisée et certifiée en Discipline Positive. Si votre situation nécessite une expertise médicale ou psychologique, Denise peut vous recommander à un spécialiste.

Photo de Brooke Cagle sur Unsplash et de PetsWorld

Hands helping each other

Make Peace with Someone

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

1 hour Relationship Repair Coaching + daily SMS follow through for 1 week
with Denise Dampierre

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.

Today’s gift helps you live a life without regrets and to repair a relationship.  You receive 1 hour of coaching to create a reconciliation action plan and daily SMS follow through for a week to provide encouragement and tweak your plan as needed.

Let’s gain insights from wizened folk.

Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and much more

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.

Clayton Christensen, professor at Harvard Business School.  In speaking about parent-child relationships

The time to plant a tree is before you need the shade.

Lovely Ladies

What will you do TODAY so that TOMORROW your relationships remain vibrant and strong?

A Mom’s Story

Here is a glimpse of a coaching conversation with a mother of four children:

Mom: “I don’t want to deal with past mistakes I may have made with my kids.  I’m human.

Apologize?  No!

Here is how I treat my past blunders.  It’s like I sweep them under the rug and place them behind me so that I don’t see them.”

We both laughed as we imagined the scene and what the kids’ saw: a smiling mother with a VERY BUMPY rug behind her!  L.O.L.

As we shared, she admitted that the debris really lay between herself and the children, like a hurdle to climb to gain intimacy.

Mom: “A small hurdle is not a problem.”

Coach: “What’s your goal with the children? Big intimacy or small problems?”

Hand building lego wall
Building or taking down the relationship barrier?

Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

“But I am Right!”

Parents may wonder, “Why apologize when I am right?!”

It takes two people to have a conflict.  Very rarely is one party 100% in the right and the other completely at fault.

Regarding the underlying issue between you and your child, you are probably right.  The room does need to get cleaned.  Curfew is to be respected.  The way one speaks to elders matters.

AND process matters too.  Might there have been an over-reaction?  Were you closed to feedback and your child wanted to share his point of view? Did viable distractions limit your ability to focus on your loved one?

In the coaching I help parents realize where they may have added fuel to a slight tension flicker…which resulted in a full-blown flame.

Don’t be sorry for asking your child to clean his room.  That is your parenting prerogative.

You can be sorry for screaming at him when he did not respond after you asked him numerous times.  “And, darling, can we work out together a way that I won’t be tempted to raise my voice because you would respond more quickly?”

“Will apologizing make we look weak?”

On the contrary.  A sincere apology for YOUR part of the conflict makes you authentic, one of the qualities teenagers appreciate in adults.

Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD reminds parents that respect is assimilated through language and modeling, not through the act of traditional “teaching.” Even young children understand when adults are not walking their talk. By adolescence, those mixed messages can cause deeper and deeper divides between teens and adults.

(Marilyn Price-Mitchell, PhD, is the author of Tomorrow’s Change Makers: Reclaiming the Power of Citizenship for a New Generation. A developmental psychologist and researcher, she works at the intersection of positive youth development and education.)

Reconciled cat and dog
Isn’t reconciliation PRECIOUS !

We reconcile to choose to love.  To reconnect.

Nelson Mandela is reputed to say,

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

Reconciling does not mean pretending that the incorrect behavior suddenly becomes acceptable.  The mis-action remains wrong.

Repairing the relationship means choosing to love even when you have been hurt and to let go of the resentment so that you can keep thriving.

Reconnecting places the priority on the relationship rather than on the back-talk, perpetual tardiness, or any other of our children’s challenging behaviors.

Wonder!

It often happens (but not always) that when one person recognizes their part in a conflict, the other party admits their misdead too.  Phew !

 

Note: This coaching will be with Denise Dampierre, a trained Positive Discipline educator and certified in Appreciative Inquiry.  If your situation requires medical or psychological expertise, Denise can you recommend you to a specialist.

 

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash and PetsWorld

laughing child

Smile … all day

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

3 beauty pouches “Colibri” (just the right size for lipstick or pencils)
from Beija Flore  

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.

Trousses Colibri de Beija Flore

Beija Flore is offering THREE pouches.  Will you change your lipstick pouch with the seasons … or enjoy a mother-daughter duo…or give one to your mother-in-law (with a smile, of course)?  Thanks to their generosity, you get to choose.

Beija Flore makes practical pouches with beautiful Liberty fabrics.  Colorful, they are easy to find in the purse.  Stylish, they are delightful to pull out in fpublic.  Practical, they fit the necessities for mom and child

Beauty pouch necessities for maman:

  • a lip pencil,
  • a small mirror
  • several lipsticks

Beauty pouch necessities for child:

  • a few band-aids
  • a tube of arnica granules.
    Arnica speeds up healing…and the slightly sweet granules melting on a child’s tongue soothes physical and emotional “booboos” alike

 

Life-Changing Power of Smiles

Did you know that a smile changes life?

Harvard Business School professor, Amy Cuddy, shares in her TedTalk how “faking it” (the smile) enables one to make it (to stimulate happiness hormones so that we authentically feel better.)

Smiling people attract attention.

As a start-up I attend multiple events with notable speakers…and, after their talk, I regularly go up to comment.  People recognize me.  “I saw you in the room.  You were smiling.

And a smile makes a difference for your child too.

smiles

Changing Home-life with Smiles

Try this.

Call your child over.

(CHILD’s NAME)!

They might come hesitantly.  When you and I call our children’s name it is often for what they might interpret as “bad news”:  a chore to be done, a request to hurry, a correction…

This time, when your kids responds to your summons, just smile at them.  With your lips, your eyes, and your tone of voice as you share how wonderful it is to have them in the family.

Smiling Results

As you do this occasionally, several changes occur;

  • A new you – you become aware of your tone of voice as you call the children. Next time you want them to pick up their dirty shoes from the front hallway, you might even call them over to first smile (connect), then clean up (correct)
  • A new response from the children – Can we blame the kids for dragging their feet when they know it’s for parent-imposed work? Wouldn’t you respond differently if you wondered, “What will they have to say this time?”

One Mom’s story

One mother shared this:

We live in a house with a spiral staircase.  I’m often in the kitchen and the children are upstairs.  I used to feel that I was shouting at them all the time to come down and DO (set the table, do homework, pick up…)

Then I decided to call them to BE together.  Instead of shouting (!) their name while standing at the kitchen sink, I would physically move my body to the bottom of the stairs where I could speak their name and they could hear it.

They would scramble down…and I would pat on one the steps so we could look at each other eye-to-eye.

Mom: “Tell me one great thing about your day, darling.

And we spoke for one or two minutes.  Just the two of us.  Without the interruption of his brother and sister.

Mom: “Thanks, sweetheart.  Enjoy playing…and remind me, what happens when the buzzer rings?”

He’s already running off while answering, “Clean up toys!”

The volume went down in our home, the chores still got done, and the joy went up.

One Child’s Story

And here’s what another child shared:

“I like it when you have that lip stuff.  I can see your smile when you’re far away.”

Don’t leave home without your lipstick snuggled into your Liberty fabric lipstick pouch 🙂

What kids hear when parents repeat 1000 times

A favorite moment in our Parent + Child Workshop is when children and parents switch roles.*

Children dress up as parents (yes, we do costumes).

The tykes also get to speak like Mom and Dad.  (Yay…or Oh, oh?)

 

Parents take on the role of the child.  Discovery time…

 

When Learning is Fun

Do you know people succeed better when they feel better?

Children do better when they feel better. Click to Tweet

That’s why we make learning fun.

The youngsters playing Dad donned ties (vintage 1970’s, no less) and the top hats.  We accessorized actresses in the mother role and wrapped them in scarves.

To help children get into their roles, we stood them up on a ledge so that they would, physically, be looking down at their “kids.”

Positive energy and excitement flowed.  Parents (acting as kids) grinned at the fun.

 

Scene 1 – Surprise

In line with our theme of the day, Stop Repeating Yourself – Create a Culture of Listening, the children performed phrases they often hear from their parents.

Without prompting each young actor interpreted his phrase with an “appropriate” tone of voice. It went like this:

“Put your coat on.”

“Stop whiiiiiiiining.”

“BRUSH YOUR TEETH!!!!!”

 

Parents (acting as kids) now wore these expressions on their faces…

…and exclaimed:

“W.O.W.  What an ‘Aha! Moment!'”

“They are barking at me!”

“I don’t want to do any of those things.  It’s so demotivating.”

 

Scene 2 – Engagement

We went for another round of phrases from the moms and dads (played by the children).  This time they asked questions instead of giving instructions.

“What should you wear so you won’t be cold?”

“What words could you use so that I hear you?”

“How will you keep your teeth from hurting?”

 

As the parent actors spoke their lines, we heard other children spontaneously answer the questions. “Coat” “Please”  “Brush teeth”

 

Stepping Back to Move Forward

Debrief time.  So, folks, what happened?

“We talked nicer the second time,” piped up a girl swirling her beads.

“I knew the answers,” proudly announced a youngest sibling.

 

The group of parents (acting as children) recuperated their smiles.

“They were expecting a response from me,” shared an engaged parent.

“It made me think,” admitted a dad enjoying a weekend off of work.

“I want to speak this way in our home, but what questions should I ask?!!!!” exclaimed a mother stepping back into her parenting role.

 

What generated the transformation in responses?

We replaced distancing commands with engaging questions that still “get the job done.”

This type of questioning is a tool from Positive Discipline, a science-based approach to building collaborative relationships.  It enables parents to be BOTH Firm AND Kind SIMULTANEOUSLY.  The expected results are crystal clear AND the exchange emanates warmth and connection.

Stop repeating 1000X : replace commands with engaging questions. Click to Tweet

Chez Vous – In YOUR Home

What are the phrases you repeat, repeat, and REPEAT?

What questions that “get the job done” could you ask instead?

 

Want some help?  Jot us a note.  We answer with a smile.

 

*This role-play is inspired by a Positive Discipline activity developed by Dr. Jane Nelsen and Lynn Lott.

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