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Jun 052012


When our children are first born we look at them in awe. We’ll sit and stare at them, falling deep into their eyes. For many of us it’s hard to put these moments into words. Often times we don’t know what we see but we know it’s the best feeling in the world. As our children grow up there are less opportunities for that type of lengthy gazing. Heck my kids won’t sit still long enough to eat some food let alone for me to ponder their souls. However, that same feeling we had when we were able to sit and stare is still there.

While in those moments we were seeing with our eyes we were actually aware on a much deeper level. That awareness allowed us to see their inherent qualities and all that is good and true about them. Some of the inherent qualities I talk about are lovable, valuable, worthy, precious, creative, beautiful, and many others. These qualities look familiar to us because even though sometimes we question their validity they are all true about us as well. Inherent qualities may be dismissed or denied but they are with us at birth and never leave.

As our children get older there are plenty of reminders about what is “wrong” with them or how they need to perform or do things beyond just being themselves to gain attention, affection, acceptance, and appreciation. This sets the stage for them as they get older to go find ways to feel loved, lovable, etc. Perhaps if we appreciated those inherent qualities in them a little more often they would know that they don’t need to search past themselves to find love. Just maybe when they received messages from others like they’re stupid, or ugly, or unworthy, etc. they would question them instead of learning to accept them.

In the very least, I can’t think of many better ways to honor your child and help them to establish a sense of self than giving them appreciations. Appreciations can be kept very simple and would probably work best when they are not in the middle of “doing something”. I advocate this approach only because you may not want to associate them having to do something (ie; painting, cleaning, performing) in order to be appreciated for who they are. This is a time for them to be reminded of what’s true about them regardless of what they do. Again, this deeper level of awareness is a reflection of their “being” not their “doing”. Just before they go to bed at night would be a great time to let them know that you appreciate how creative, loving, lovable, valuable, precious, curious, and smart they are. These are just a few examples of what you might appreciate about them. When they are old enough you might want to write a few out and have them read them to themselves. Hearing themselves remind them can resonate even deeper.

In a world where we can guarantee we’ll be hearing a lot of false things about ourselves isn’t it nice to know that a simple reminder of what is true can go a long way? What are some ways you’ve found to remind your children what’s true about them?

Apr 052012

I can recall, not too long ago, a time when each and every word out of my daughter’s mouth was met with huge celebration. When she started talking it was such an amazing thing to watch. In the beginning we weren’t too concerned with what she was saying only so much that she was just speaking. Not too long after that she was starting to repeat words. We had to be really careful about what we would say around her or what would be on TV.

Our daughter, O, will be 4 years old in just under two weeks. She’s got a great vocabulary and I know we’ve done a great job ensuring she’s not exposed to words we’d likely use around other adults. However, she’s now in Pre-School and of course have no control over what other children are going to say. Recently she’s been picking up some words and one in particular.

About a week ago, O came home and completely out of nowhere says, “Daddy, we don’t say stupid.”. I was shocked at first as I’d never heard her use that word. Apparently, one of the other girls she plays with picked it up. So I replied, “That’s right honey, no one is stupid and we don’t use that word.”. That was the last I heard of it until the next day.

The conversation went like this:

O: “Daddy, we don’t say Stupid.”
Me: “That’s right honey, we don’t say that word.”
O: “Stupid is a bad word.”
Me: “That’s right honey and we don’t say it, good job!”
O: “Right, we don’t say Stupid.”
Me: “Right…”

This exact same conversation has occurred every day this week. I’m beginning to notice a pattern and am quickly catching on to this little genius 3 year old. She’s found a way to say Stupid all the while confirming that she shouldn’t say it!

Darn her!!!! LOL This is her at 3?? I am in so much trouble!

Mar 262012

As you’ve probably been aware from some of my more recent posts I’ve been doing quite a bit of “self discovery” work. In fact, I’ve been working through a very formal program over the last 8+ months in which I’ve logged well in excess of 200 hours. My time has been spent in both group and individual settings in which I’ve worked through so many old hurts.

In fact, I would say before I started my work I was an extreme co-dependent. I couldn’t identify very well with “who I was”, I had no boundaries, plenty of false beliefs about who I was and who I wasn’t and for the most part was just not “aware”.

Since then I’m very confident in who I am. I have great use, understanding, and awareness of my boundaries. I affirm myself daily and no longer hold false beliefs of not being good enough as well as others. I’ve rid myself (not all but a good majority) of old hurts, fears, and bad feelings. I now know how to identify with feelings and welcome all of them. I’m a much better husband, father, friend, and employee. In many ways I’m a completely different person. The last 8 months were certainly the hardest (in terms of self work) I’ve ever done. It would be akin to extreme dieting with mega workouts. I went places I never wanted to go (emotionally) and saw things I only wished prior would’ve stayed buried. I’ve learned that to get to the other side you have to go through hell first.

I would describe my journey as having been driven down the wrong road most of my life. Now, I’m on the right road. It’s a long road and one that will only end when I pass on. I will continue to learn and grow as I travel down this new road. The gift I have now though is the unlimited ability to not only love myself but everyone else around me. I’m so much more free now than I’ve ever been and plan to give more than I ever knew I was capable of.

With all this said, I’ve started another site called, www.TinyChunks.com. Don’t ask where I got the name. Have you tried searching the web for an available name that doesn’t sound completely horrible? Yeah, well that’s where I was left. The tag line as it reads today is “of Love” so I suppose “Tiny Chunks of Love” is a little more palatable and hopefully relatable to the content. So what is the content? Well I gave myself a challenge a week ago. I have a list of all the qualities of our inherent nature. All the qualities that you and I (everyone) are born with. I decided to take on the challenge of putting these single words into short sayings that could easily and quickly be read. It allows me to remind myself that I have these qualities and as important it’s a great reminder for all of you as well. It’s something that will ring true for you, your parents, your children, and everyone else around you. I’m hoping to put a little bit of a creative spin on them so they’re as interesting to read as they are to be aware of. Right now I’m planning to post one a day during the week. Of course, at some point I’ll run out and I’m not sure what will happen then. I’m also thinking of other things I might be able to do with the site as well. By all means if you have any recommendations I would love to hear them! 

Lastly, I want to mention that although I’ve been away a bit from DadStreet it’s still a site I have every intention on maintaining and posting on. I found myself talking more about “well being” as it relates to adults and DadStreet has always been about parenting. So in the future when I speak about “well being” I’ll do so in the context of parenting and our children.

I hope you check out www.TinyChunks.com and share whatever resonates with you. Of course, I also hope you continue to come back to DadStreet as I ramp up postings in the near future.

Much love to you all and thank you so much for your support!

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