How To Build Effective Communication

Are you happy with the way your children, spouse and co-workers listen to you when you speak? Are you feeling valued at work and at home? If not, take a moment to discover a way of communicating that may enhance your life from this moment forward. Imagine how your satisfaction in everything you do will change when you feel you communicate effectively!?

Image if you can communicate without conflict and get along easily with whomever you talk to.

“Sometimes it feels as if the more we talk, the less we are heard. But Andrew Newberg, M.D., and Mark Robert Waldman have discovered a powerful strategy called Compassionate Communication that allows two brains to work together as one.In twelve clear steps, Compassionate Communication actually changes the brain structure of both participants in a way that helps establish a mutual bond. Free from conflict and distrust, we can communicate more effectively, listen more deeply, and collaborate without effort.Outlining the science, the strategies, and the practical application of Compassionate Communication in a range of personal and professional settings, Newberg and Waldman prove that words can change your brain.” (Newberg and Waldman)

The steps are:

  1. Relax
  2. Stay present
  3. Cultivate inner silence
  4. Increase positivity
  5. Reflect on your deepest values
  6. Access a pleasant memory
  7. Observe nonverbal cues
  8. Expression appreciation
  9. Speak warmly
  10. Speak slowly
  11. Speak briefly
  12. Listen deeply

These twelve steps can be used in your everyday life whether you are meeting people for the first time or dealing with people who you’ve had conflicts with in the past or just talking to your family. If you are a business coach, lifestyle coach, wellness coach, executive coach or any other type of coach these strategies can be used in your coaching business to incorporate mindfulness in your practice.

If you are a parent, school teacher, or caregiver of children look at step #10 Speak Slowly as it increases comprehension.

“Slow speech rates increase a listener’s ability to comprehend what you are saying, and this is true for both young and older adults” (Newberg &Waldman).

In fact, another thing that makes a huge difference to comprehension for children and adults alike is speaking in sentences of no more than ten words. It has something to do with the way the brain ‘chunks’ information.Therefore, from now on speak slowing and briefly.

What you say and the expression you have on your face is mirrored back to the other person. To elicit trust from the person you are speaking to smile like the Mona Lisa smiles in the painting of the Mona Lisa.

How simple is that?

Above all, take the time to actively listen! It makes all the difference in the world.

Step on Being a Reliable Babysitter

Before deciding on a babysitting as a job, ask yourself if you enjoy spending time with kids, do you have an awareness of young children’s needs or do you want to babysit occasionally or find a regular babysitting position? With a bit of planning and coordination, babysitting can be fun and lucrative. Start from home – look after your siblings, pets, be a mother’s helper, begin babysitting from home. This way, your parents can watch how you care for the child, help you if you need it, and let you know when you’re ready to do it on your own.

1. Get educated: The first important step is to be educated thoroughly on childcare. Enroll for a babysitting class where they teach you everything from first aid to diaper changing and handling bad behavior.

2. Get organised and set up a schedule: Take a calendar and mark your free days and times, so you know when exactly you are available.

3. Select a rate: Plan on the options either flat rate hourly wages or per child wage, per hour. Get a feel of the competition, see what is suitable and quote accordingly.

4. Set up a get-to-know-parents meeting: Get all the information about the parents, their names and contact numbers, emergency addresses and contact. Fill out a health form about the kids. Chart out the child/children’s schedule meal times, homework and bedtime. Take a tour of the house to know where the different safety equipment, first aid kit and fire extinguisher are kept.

5. Spend time knowing the kids: Talk to them, ask questions the kid should warm up to you. Try developing a rapport and think up some strategies to make your time smooth.

6. Create an activity bag or box that you bring along to every job: A major part of babysitting involves playing with kids and keeping them entertained. Parents love babysitters who help kids have fun, at the same time reinforcing rules and keeping discipline.

7. Keep the kids entertained and engaged in fun projects: Tell stories because Kids love stories. Make fun snacks or simple dinners together. Before that check for any food allergies or any food limits the children may have.

You can also plan on a few games that are easy and ready to play. Craft activities are a good way to keep the kids busy and happy. Take them to the playground if the parents are OK with it.

8. Follow a schedule: It is best to stick to the rules and routine of the house.

9. Keep safe: The best way to keep the children safe is to keep an eye on them at all times while they are awake. After you put them to bed, check on them every 15 to 30 minutes to ensure everything is okay and that they are sleeping.

10. Tidy up the place before you leave: You are not a housekeeper, but make sure to tidy up any messes before leaving. The parents will appreciate returning home to a clean house.

Helpful Tips To Raising Our Children With Love and Respect

“Let’s raise children who won’t have to recover from their childhoods.” Pam Leo

That quote really got my mind working this morning. I took a moment and reflected on my own childhood and it really is true. I was raised by my grandparents and I understand that their ways were the “old school” ways but to this day I still have a lot of emotional issues based on the methods of discipline and lack of approval I received as a child. I still have a lot of baggage that I have carried since childhood but over the years I’ve been getting a lot better about letting it go and not allowing my past to dictate what happens in my future. A couple of things DO still bother me to this day and as nervous as I am about it for the sake of knowledge and information that may help other children I wanted to share them with you:

– My grandfather always commented on my weight and put me down because I wasn’t a thin girl and I have always been self-conscious about my weight and my looks, no matter how many times my husband tells me I’m beautiful I’m always secretly rolling my eyes, wishing I could believe it for myself.

– I was punished as a child by spanking. There was a leather strap that laid on a table in the dining room and my brothers and I always had to walk by it. Every time we got in trouble the strap was picked up and we went to our rooms, crying and sore. That made me grow up with quite a temper and lifelong resentment to authority that I always have to work hard to control. I thank my daughter every day for being here because she helps me to see the world so differently.

I grew up constantly questioning myself and my abilities and I never feel I have the confidence to do everything I have dreamed of doing, mainly because growing up I was never told that I had the ability to do anything I wanted if I wanted it bad enough. It took me years of self-discovery, books and the support of my amazing and caring husband to convince myself that I AM worth the risk because I want my life to be full of wonderful moments, memories and I don’t want to leave this earth with a laundry list of regrets.

Because I was raised that way I swore to myself that I would never treat my child like that and I would raise her the opposite way. I will not use fear to get her obedience and I will not put my child down because I don’t see perfection. My daughter just turned three and I love that when she is having a tantrum and pushing my buttons the situation always ends with a hug and a moment of peace than a scared confused child who doesn’t understand why mommy was so cruel to her.

It breaks my heart that every day there are so many children who are growing up with families that will set these kids up for a future of uncertainty and self-esteem issues, mainly due to the fact that parents aren’t armed with the proper information that could help them to guide children through their youth, instead of controlling their decisions, using unnecessary punishments to get their points across, yelling more than talking and not providing the protection from certain situations that could make or break a child’s self-esteem. So many young spirits are broken and that pain will haunt them and affect the decisions they make for the rest of their lives. The worst part is that all of this can be prevented with a little knowledge, support and a better understanding from the child’s perspective.

I know there are a lot of parents who say that they were spanked as children and they grew up better because of that form of discipline. Everyone is different and everyone raises their children differently. I’m not trying to start a debate about spanking, I just wanted to write about my view on the subject because I went through it and that was how spanking affected me. In the end I just want every parent to know that their children are beautiful, special and full of so much potential. Love them with all your hearts and do everything in your power to give them the best start in their lives. Every parent has their own ways of doing this and in the end if you know in your hearts that you’re doing everything you can possibly do to ensure the best future for your children, then that is MORE than enough.

We are all born with a blank canvas and it’s up to the parents to paint the proper background so that the children can then complete the picture and grow up to become confident, empathic, responsible and grateful adults who will make a difference in this world. If we fail to put maximum effort into our children and to go the extra mile to do the right things for them instead of the more convenient “this will put an end to this for now” mindset, everyone wins and the family is much more secure and trustworthy of one another and that, in my opinion makes for the perfect future for everyone.

Do you have baggage from your childhood and has that affected your parenting for the better? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Your input may help other parents looking for advice or information.

Laws of Potty Training in a Weekend

Potty training in a weekend means you have to be your child’s coach, it’s your job to guide them through the potty training process. To accomplish your goal you need to be in the right state of mind, parents who have the fastest results are all aware of the 3 laws of potty training in a weekend.

Following these laws to the “T” will make potty training in a weekend a piece of cake. Skip one of these laws and you are sure to have toilet training problems.

Law #1 – Be Positive

Potty training can be one of the most frustrating times for a parent. They find themselves wanting to pull their hair out and quit when the process starts to get tough. Toilet training is all about keeping your child motivated and having them enjoy what they’re accomplishing. Accidents will happen and it is extremely important to remain calm and act positive. Instead of showing your child your frustration with negative reinforcement and yelling, be positive by saying phrases like “don’t worry, we’ll make it to the potty next time.” This makes the situation less stressful for both you and the child.

Law #2 – Be Persistent

Being persistent is about putting your foot down even when things get tough. If you let your child get away with a single accident while potty training, your child will think they can get away with accidents all the time. If you never let your child get away with an accident they will quickly figure out that there is no other option but to use their potty. The goal is to have your child running to the potty on their own.

Law #3 – Be Consistent

Being consistent is about simple repetition, you need to consistently ask your child the same question every 15 minutes… “Do you have to go potty?”… At first it is more than likely your child will answer “no” when you ask. By remaining consistent with the question and persistent at carrying the child to the potty when they have an accident, they will start answering yes. Shortly after you will see your child running to the potty on their own without you having to ask them if they need to go.

These laws are based on very simple psychological principles and when used together, creates one amazingly easy potty training experience for both you and your child.

Tips Preparing Your Teens for Success


My mother was an expert on preparing teens for successful lives. When I was ten years old, she sat me down for a mom to daughter encounter and told me that I could come to her with any concern or worry I might have. What a treasure that was!

So how can we prepare teens for successful lives?

1. Help teens to develop strategies for achieving academic success. Recent studies have shown that praise for good work is not as effective as praise for the path used to achieve success.

2. Be proactive in discussing life issues with teens. Talking about good education should begin in the pre-teen years. Don’t wait until grade school graduation to talk about high school years. Talk about financial responsibility needs to take place when the first allowance is given out.

3. Use the dinner table to discuss relevant issues. Do the “what if” game at the dinner table. What if a friend cheats on a test? Would you tell the teacher? What if you found out that a classmate was doing drugs? Who would you inform? What if you were approached for drugs? What should you do?

4. Why questions are also important. Why is a college education needed in today’s world? Why should you choose a good school? Why is it necessary to work hard to get good grades? Why should you put education and jobs first, followed by marriage, sex, and children?

5. Provide a safe environment so your teens will feel comfortable confiding in you. Let them know that they are loved, appreciated, and treasured.

6. Eliminate all drug and alcohol use. Addictive behaviors will make them feel unsafe and will set the background for developing addictive behaviors.

7. Stress the significance off forming strong positive friendships.

8. Raise your teen in a faith tradition. Children brought up to believe in God will have the advantage of placing trust in something or someone above and beyond them.

9. Eliminate all violent media from the home. Do not allow your children or your teens to watch violent videos, TV, or movies. The American Pediatric Association has just come out with a warning about the effect of violence on children and teens.

10. Emphasize the importance of sexual restraint until marriage while giving your teens a comprehensive education on sexual realities.

11. Give your teens your quantity time. In the nineties, there was emphasis on quality time, verses quantity time. Quantity time is far more important than quantity time.

Tips To Make Breastfeeding Work

Although breastfeeding is among the most natural acts in the world, it will still take practice. There is still a need for new moms to learn how to hold as well as support their baby in a very comfortable position.

Finding the right position that will work both for you and your infant is indeed well worth the effort. Besides, both of you will spend hours each day breastfeeding.

Time-Tested Breastfeeding Positions To Try

Cradle – This will require you to cradle the head of your baby with the crook of your arm. You have to sit in a chair with supportive armrests or perhaps on a bed with plenty of pillows. After that, rest your feet on a stool or other raised surface in order to avoid leaning down toward your baby. Hold her in a way that his face, stomach, and knees are directly facing you. As for his lower arm, place it under your own. To support his spine, neck, and bottom, you have to extend your hand and forearm down her back. Also, secure his knees against your body. This is considered the best position for babies who were delivered normally.

Cross-over or Cross-cradle – The difference of this position with cradle hold is that your arms will switch roles. When you are nursing from your right breast, you have to use your left hand and arm to hold your baby. His chest and tummy must face you directly by rotating his body. Guide his mouth to your breast by placing your thumb and fingers behind his head and ears. This hold will work well for infants or small babies who have trouble latching on.

Football or Clutch – In this position, you have to tuck your baby under your arm like a handbag or a football. First, position your baby at your side and under your arm. He must be facing you with her nose level and his feet pointing to your back. With your hand, support your baby’s neck, head and shoulders. And with a C-hold, guide him to your nipple, chin first. Be reminded though not to push him toward your breast so much so he won’t resist and arch his body against your hand. Support his upper back with your forearm. This position is best for mums who underwent a Cesarian section or if your baby has trouble latching.

Reclining – To feed your baby while lying on your side in bed, you have to ask help from someone to place some pillows behind your back for support. Also, put a pillow under your head and shoulders. Place another pillow in between your bent knees. Your main goal is to keep your hips and back straight. Let your baby face you, draw him close, and cradle his head using the hand of your bottom arm. In case your baby needs to be closer to your breast, you must place a pillow under his head. You might need to lift your breast so he can reach it comfortably. This position is best if you are recovering from a Cesarian or if sitting up is uncomfortable for you.

Step To Helping a Child To Do Well

Well, it’s time for a new school term. Most parents and grandparents think that it is up to a child to do well in class and on their report cards. They often don’t recognize, however, how their own actions contribute to the child’s progress.

Here are some things that you can do to help your child succeed:

1. Encourage and praise effort – I remember hearing about a research project where children were given puzzles beyond their abilities. Some of the children were excited and asked if the researchers would give their mothers the name of the manufacturer so that they could keep trying to solve them at home. The other children gave up and refused to try because the puzzles were too difficult. Upon further examination it was found that the first group had always been encouraged to try and so they were not afraid of failure. In fact, the more that they tried to solve problems, the more they succeeded and the better they felt about themselves. The second group, however, had been told that they were smart, attractive and “special”. They gave up easily thinking that they didn’t want to fail and damage the image that others had of them.

2. Promote accountability and communication – When you are aware of the expectations of the teachers and school staff, you are able to help your child to complete their work and tasks on time. It is not acceptable to say “I didn’t know they were supposed to do that”. On the other hand, it is important that you don’t do the work for the child. Show an interest in the child’s academics and keep in touch with the teachers. Make sure that you attend the Parent-Teacher interviews or set up an alternate time so that you are aware of the progress that is or isn’t being made. If there is a specific weakness, arrange to have regular communication with the teacher so that you understand what is required and when it is due. Teach your child the importance of meeting deadlines and submitting work that shows good effort.

3. Provide a safe, clean and peaceful environment – It is difficult for anyone to do well if they are living in chaos. Make sure that the child has nutritious meals and a regular routine that they can depend upon. A bedtime (without computer distractions) will provide their brain with the best chance to do well in class the following day. Have them prepare their clothing and books the night before so that they have everything ready and don’t have to rush. The most important thing is that they are able to experience a stress-free and peaceful environment. Children who live with conflict are never able to relax and think about positive things. Keep things calm!

4. Be a good example – “Do as I say and not as I do” is not a credible stance to take. If you want your child to be responsible and respectful then you will need to model this for them. When I worked in the school system it was always interesting to meet the parents of children who performed or acted inappropriately. Sometimes you could pick the parents out of the crowd as they looked and acted exactly like the child (or the other way around). Your child loves you, needs you and emulates you. The most powerful way to change their behaviour is therefore to correct your own flaws and weaknesses. Set a good example.

Teens Still Need Their Parents

Times have surely changed. Throughout the world, parents have promoted the development of uncontrolled and disrespectful children. Parents have very little time to bond with their children. They are either too busy trying to make an impression in a materialistic, overachieving society or, they have given up on life. Children are thus left with large amounts of unsupervised time and little parental love and attention.

Within every child there is a developing moral sense. In fact, children crave moral order. Parents have little desire or time to help their children, and turn to the churches and schools to take over the responsibility for giving moral guidance and discipline. Spiritual leaders and teachers can do only so much. A firm foundation for everything must be provided at home.

Unfortunately, most children are subjected to parents who set bad examples. Many parents refuse to sacrifice their time, pleasures and personal conveniences for the needs of their children. Aggressive parents yell and scream at their children, swear and treat other people with indifference and disrespect. Children learn through example and become the mirrored reflection of their parents. When parents are absent, children reflect the examples set by their peers.

Teenagers, especially, need their parents. During puberty, they experience new feelings and emotions. They face daily pressures from teachers and peers. They are exposed to the influence of television, music, and the Internet. Teenagers suffer stress and anxiety, and they are too inexperienced to handle it in a positive way. Busy parents should never assume their children are fine because they have provided them with money, Sunday school and an opportunity for education. Today’s children and teenagers are exposed to pressures and problems unknown to past generations. Spending quality time with them will help parents establish this.

Parents who feel that they have lost touch with their children need to take serious steps to build bridges, one conversation at a time. Children may not always appreciate the sudden parental attention and protection. They may well show resentment at times, especially when they insist on having things done their way and the parents answer is suddenly ‘no’. We live in a degraded world and therefore we need to do what is necessary to raise our children well. Good parents know the balance and are neither too lenient nor harsh.

Parents who are striving hard to be a positive force and a real presence in the lives of their children are blessed. They know that raising children is hard work, but the rewards are priceless.

The time and energy parents invest in the lives of their children cannot be replaced. To be a positive force in their children’s life requires effort, but it is very rewarding.

Things to Do With Kids While Babysitting

It is quite a task to come up with a never ending list of things to keeping the kids entertained while babysitting. Games can be educative and fun together, though it does require some planning. Keeping them entertained can make a lot of difference between happy kids who enjoy their time with you versus those kids that get totally out of control.

Here are tips on some top activities that can keep kids entertained for a few hours.

Have a little tea party. Try out recipes that are no-bake like instant pudding. Children can help mix the ingredients, stir and add toppings, or help chop fruit and decorate. Let them help by stirring their own drinks or making their own sandwiches. Or even an indoor ‘picnic’ on a blanket in the middle of the floor in the house.

Pop some corn watch a movie together. Give out make believe tickets and collect them at the door and let the movie begin. . . Or even put up a play. Impromptu script can be made up as one goes along.

All kids love arts and crafts. It is a sure shot way to keep them occupied and entertained for hours. Make sure that you cover the floor and table with paper. For younger children finger painting is a big hit. Children love to be creative and you will be surprised as to what can be created. Older children can make cards, bookmarks and bead a necklace or bracelet. A face painting kit will have the kids laughing at each other. Show them how to make a “I’m thankful for” jar with slips of paper writing things they’re thankful for.

Do a puzzle together. This keep kids busy for a while and their energy at a controllable level – which makes it a great activity especially before bedtime. Board game, like snakes and ladders, some easy games with counting also provides edutainment.

Read stories as often as possible. Find a good book or ask the kids what they want you to read to them. Encourage the child to ask about any words that cannot be understood. It helps build up their vocabulary skills. If you enjoy story-telling, use different voices and add drama to the literature. The kids can even add their own voices or characters to new stories and read or present it to you.

Write a story too. This is a great way of improving grammar, spelling and writing skills besides fostering an active imagination.

Walk into their fantasy land, of good guys and bad guys, dressing up and other make-believe play. It enhances an important aspect of childhood and a great way for you and kid(s) to have a lot of laughs together. Just pretend that you are on an adventure!

Make a tent or camp indoors. Use chairs and blankets. Fill up with pillows and blankets and let the children have a great time inside their little tents.

Play fun games, indoors and outdoors. They do not require any preparation. Like an indoor basketball game that need just a bucket and a rolled up sock. Or musical cushions — like musical chairs, but using cushions spread out on the living room floor. Board games are another favourite with a lot of kids.

Plan activities that will entertain and educate the children. Submit an activity list to the parents to choose from. Check with the parents if they approve of the activities you have planned and ask them to assist with the supplies needed. It makes your job easier and active children are always happier and better behaved.

How To Helping Graduates Start On Solid Financial Ground

With graduation season drawing to a close, many recent graduates are making their first major decisions about the future – where to live, which job to take and how to spend their non-working hours. Stepping out on their own often comes with another big first – being financially independent. While this newfound control can be enjoyable, the added responsibilities may also be overwhelming. If your child is a new graduate, help him or her start off on solid financial ground with the following advice.

Study your employee benefits. For many recent grads, this is the first time they’ve been offered a 401(k), health insurance or the chance to purchase additional time off. Before enrolling in benefits, graduates need to research and understand their options. Graduates should remember that it’s okay to have questions, such as whether they should consider disability insurance or if a plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA) is the right fit. A good place to find information is through the human resources department or benefits provider. They will likely have the resources and staff available to help.

If graduates have questions specific to their financial situation, consider meeting with a financial professional. A financial advisor can provide objective advice and answers to more technical questions. Ultimately, graduates should have enough information and guidance to feel confident making their benefits selections.

Walk away from marketing pitches. One of the greatest financial risks for young adults is falling prey to special deals that sound too good to be true such as “zero-down,” “no payments until 2018,” and “buy one, get one free.” New graduates are prime targets for deals on everything from cell phone plans and furniture, to cars and houses. Graduates who are considering a purchase with a snazzy offer should ask the tough questions, “Am I ready for a new car, or am I considering a car because of this offer?” Those who decide to make a purchase should research the offer and compare it to competitors’ offers to make sure it’s a fair deal. In many cases the added interest and possible fees could make the price tag more than they “bargained” for.

Have a plan for your debt and credit. Graduates today have more student loan debt than previous generations, which means balancing their post-grad lifestyle with student loan payments is a top priority. Consider the value of consistently paying above the minimum amount due. Establishing this responsible habit can help avoid costly interest rate charges and late fees.

The same thinking should be applied to credit. It’s important for young adults to establish a good credit history, so opening a credit card can be a wise financial move. However, graduates should stick to one or two credit cards to avoid overextending their credit.

Develop a budget. New grads quickly learn that living on their own comes with a long list of expenses. And, that without careful planning it’s easy for their hard-earned paychecks to trickle away. Creating a budget can help young adults feel in control and accountable for their cash flow. Budgeting, while often a mundane task, allows graduates to ensure their money is being spent – or saved – on the items that are most important to them.