Tag Archive | children

Impressions on Children

Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression. ~Dr. Haim Ginott

Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get. ~H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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Here are some fantastic one-page articles about teaching and encouraging kindness in children, even when they’re still toddlers. It’s really never too early to begin. May peace prevail. Namaste. Gina

8 Ways to teach kindness to toddlers and preschoolers, by Tabitha Studer at WhatToExpect.com
Kids and kindness: Can you teach compassion? by Holly Bennett at TodaysParent.com
Teaching Children Respect in 5 Minutes or Less, by Julie Hunt at SmartKids101.com

Enjoy Freedom and Allow it as well

“Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.” ~Voltaire

“It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” ~Thomas Jefferson

 

“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.” ~John F. Kennedy

Demonstrate Kindness

 One of the most helpful things I can do for world peace is create peace within my own heart. As each of us uncovers and reflects ever more peace in our lives, we are fostering peace everywhere. May each of us demonstrate kindness and role model compassion to all those around us, especially young people. Honesty, integrity, and morality are the types of characteristics to embody, live from and look for in others, not racial, religious, or other differences.

Copyright © 2014 Gina ~ Professions for PEACE

These uplifting [but unable to be sourced] images are gathered and shared with love for us all.  ~Namaste. Gina

“God bless us, every one”

“Oh, would that Christmas lasted the whole year through, as it ought. Would that the spirit of Christmas could live within our hearts every day of the year.” ~Charles Dickens

“If as Herod, we fill our lives with things and again with things; if we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, when will we have the time to make the long, slow journey across the desert as did the Magi? Or sit and watch the stars as did the shepherds? Or brood over the coming of the child as did Mary? For each one of us, there is a desert to travel. A star to discover. And a being within ourselves to bring to life.” ~Author Unknown

“The image of Christ being born in a manger symbolizes that God comes forth in a place of humility. Spirit seeks not fanfare, human riches or, accolades, but the simplicity of an open heart.” ~Alan Cohen

Christmas peace dove

ChristmasPeace

Chrstmas Peace Hope

Wishing each and every one of us, the entire human family that we comprise, a truly peaceful heart and a peaceful loving world. God bless. ~Gina

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First image from sandyhaight.com; All others were randomly sourced.

“I like my life!”

I know this video of an enthusiastic 4-year-old named Jessica doing her daily affirmations in the bathroom mirror has long since gone viral but I want to share it here because it makes me smile.  AND I’ve discovered that if you try to emulate her amazing enthusiasm in front of your bathroom mirror (including swinging your arms, although maybe don’t climb up on the counter) it will make you laugh out loud and feel amazing! I encourage you to try it!

Jessica’s Daily Affirmation

Daily Affirmations of Success

In less than 2 minutes, this video combines soothing music and positive affirmations to inspire and uplift. May you enjoy!

Positive Affirmations for Well-Being

A 3-minute video with lovely music, images and inspiring affirmations to help jump-start your day in a wonderful way!

Teaching Children Affirmations

baby mirror kissIf we are a parent or have children in our lives as nieces, nephews, students or children of our friends, we have a great opportunity to role-model how doing affirmations helps us to feel better about ourselves. Self-love nurtures self worth, which is the essential building block for all healthy relationships with others.

sm-Love-Your-StoryI also fully believe that a wholesome sense of self worth not only improves people’s lives it helps save them. We all need to realize our own worth and to cherish our lives.

On this important topic of doing affirmations for and with children, I am delighted to share two amazing bloggers and the wonderful crafts they have made.

sm GOD MADE YOU Affirmation FeedingSparrows.comSubway art: God Made You

Jamie is a delightful blogger and I encourage you to visit her wonderfully inspiring craft blog.

She writes: “Every gift, every feature, every circumstance in our lives is hand picked especially for us by the Lord.  We need to remind our children of this daily!
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.”  Psalm 139:13
I am so often drawn to this verse; it helps me to understand that He made me and that I am His.”

Jamie’s helpful photos and text will walk you through how to make an inspiring poster like this for yourself. Or visit her etsy shop and she’ll make one for you! Also, her custom wedding song lyrics would look wonderful in any newlywed couple’s home, both on and long after their big day. Way to go Jamie!

300 affirm I Am - feedingsparrowsI discovered Jamie and her Creative Imperative through the delightful blog at Feeding Sparrows, and specifically this post on making Affirmation Signs. This inspiring mother of three has a wise and generous spirit and writes often about the importance of doing affirmations. There is much to read and enjoy on her blog, even if she hasn’t added a new post in a while. I can certainly relate to how busy life gets, even if my children are no longer young like hers are!

I encourage you to visit her site, especially this post about Why Affirmations. It’s wonderfully well written about why teaching children about doing affirmations is essential to helping raise healthy, happy individuals. Her concluding statement here is amazing:
“I believe it is so important that we teach our children how to ‘choose’ the right thoughts from an early age. Just think of the love and peace we would have all over the world if every child was taught the importance of doing daily, positive, affirmations! They truly can create miracles!”

affirmation_bracelets shoplocket.comBracelets for children by Feeding Sparrows

For every set she sells, one set is given to a non-profit children’s organization! The affirmation bracelets have these affirmations:

  • I am loved. I am brave. I am creative. (red lettering)
  • Every day I get better and better. (orange lettering)
  • Today is the best day ever. (green lettering)
  • Think. speak. be positive. (blue lettering)
  • I am a good friend. (purple lettering)

While I do not know either of these bloggers except for frequent enjoyable visits to their blogs, I offer heartfelt gratitude to both Jamie and Allyson with an encouraging cheer to keep up the good work! All the work you do as you shower your own children with love, and then share about it on your blogs, helps make a huge difference in our world because we all need role models. Thanks for showing some of the ways of how you do it. God bless you.

nothing you do for children is wasted 450

Additional Reading:
http://professionsforpeace.com/2013/02/23/precious-resource/
http://professionsforpeace.com/2013/02/24/kids-are-worth-it/

Loving Trees

tree_canopy smAll my life, as far back as I can remember, I have felt a connection with trees. I’ve grasped trunks and branches during youthful climbs and wondered how my hands felt to them. I felt their surface as rough, crumbly, sticky in places with sap, and I wondered if they felt me climbing them as warm, human, fleeting, soft.

One of my earliest memories regarding my family involved a tree. A very tall tree. We lived near the end of a long country road and our yard had a row of tall spruce running along the property line, separating our house and yard from the road. I loved those huge spruce trees and would often climb up to sit, swing and bounce on those sprawling lower branches. For my tiny body of six years those branches made a perfect ladder all the way to the top, and one day I just kept going.

I can still remember the sticky sap that clung to my palms as I reached up to another and then another branch-rung in this ladder to the clouds. That is until the branches were so close together that all I could do was perch on the sturdiest one and hold onto the trunk. It was exhilarating. My heart was happy and excited and I felt so intimately close to that old tree. I felt safe. Cocooned. I even noticed how the breeze made that old tree sway. In my mind it was as if I was nestled in the clouds and I loved it.

spruce_tree 300Then I looked down through the branches and saw my family in the yard: mother gardening, father working on one of his cars, and much older sister preparing to head out in her own car. I could hear them easily and they were starting to ask each other, “Have you seen Gina?” so I unveiled my hiding spot and cheerily called out to them, “Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Hi Sis!” Unfortunately (but predictably) they didn’t think my being 50 feet up in a narrow evergreen quite as enchanting as I did. My Mom went into a screaming state of panic and her fear was palatable. I suddenly gripped that trunk and felt the rush of a powerful fear.

I climbed down with a much more unhappy energy than I’d climbed up with, but I still give thanks for that memory. The trauma from my mother’s fear helped imprint that day, that moment, into my brain to be permanently stored. I loved that tree, that day, the clouds, the breeze, even the sticky and prickly branches, and my mother’s introduction of fear helped sear that day into me so that I would never forget.

Once I became a mother it was easy to forgive and understand my mom’s frantic, scolding behaviour. While I never experienced looking up a 50-foot tree to see my six-year old child near the top, I can still easily understand her behaviour (although I don’t recommend letting your child SEE your level of panic, if at all possible). Obviously I made it down safely, although the coming down was vastly worse than the going up. I was harshly scolded and forbidden from ever climbing trees again. (Not that it lasted. I discovered an ancient walnut tree as well as a prolific cherry tree at our next home. I figured moving made that ‘No Climbing Trees’ agreement void)

tree roots 350Now mid-life has snuck up on me and those memories are decades old. In my world I now have 50-foot spruce trees on my own property. While I do not feel the urge to push my much-larger body through the branches in an attempt to reach the heights, I feel their roots. I offer love to their roots.

I wonder, is this a part of aging? In my youth I longed for the tip-top branches, swaying in the breeze, and now I respect and appreciate roots where I add compost, occasional fertilizer and water during times of drought.

I myself have put deeper roots down as I cherish these years of my forties. If I may be so lucky this is the halfway point… the true mid-life stage and I intend to show up and put on a good show.

Offering my love and appreciation for the two huge spruce I share this property with is one way I celebrate life. They are old trees, older than I am, and their sprawling shallow roots reach much farther than the drip-line. Their roots might even be under me now as I type in the den facing the street, beside the nearest of the two giant trees as I watch the pattern of the wind in its branches.

If this is the case and the roots are under my feet, may it receive this prayer I offer. May this tree feel my appreciation for the birds it shelters and the shade it offers. May it know those fertilizer spikes I pound in at the drip-line during spring rains are one way I show my love as I attempt to replenish the soil nourishment our city lifestyles rob from urban trees. May it, on some unknown level, feel my loving eyes as I watch its branches from my window and attempt to capture poetic words to describe the beauty I behold. May these old trees, and all the trees in my neighbourhood and the wilderness walks I enjoy, feel my deep appreciation for them and continue to flourish and share their oxygenating, healing energy with us all.

Thank You God for all the Trees.

forest-old-growth

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.

~ Chinese Proverb

I willingly confess to so great a partiality for trees as tempts me to respect a man in exact proportion to his respect for them. 

~ James Russell Lowell

I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live
than other things do.
 ~ Willa Cather

See additional quotes on TREES and more on my Quotes Page.
Related reading at my older post: A Forest Sprite

[With genuine gratitude for these randomly-sourced royalty-free photos off Google images]

You Are Wanted

A few days ago I was at last in a cleaning spurt. That’s always a good sign that I’m feeling better. On a whim I decided to turn to the Spirit Channel with uplifting Christian rock as my choice of ‘background noise’ while I scrubbed my kitchen, instead of a nature documentary or cooking show.

It wasn’t long before I heard this song (shared below thanks to YouTube) and found myself singing along… and then going to YouTube to hear it again… and again.

As I was singing along I thought of my son’s friend, a lovely young man who left too soon. I thought about my darling and still-young dog who has lost her sight. And I thought of myself. Deserving of love exactly where I am right now, in this moment. “You are wanted!” I sang along.

The lovely songstress Dana Maclean co-wrote and sings these incredible lyrics, helping remind us of how important each and every one of us is. I encourage you to listen. I hope you enjoy. Namaste. Gina

WANTED

Written by JUSTIN EBACH, PAUL MABURY, and DARA MACLEAN

From the day you were born

And took your first breath

You opened your eyes and in came the light

He was watching you

But all of your life you couldn’t shake the lies in your head

Saying you’re a mistake

Oh but you were made

By a God who knows your name

He doesn’t make mistakes

 

You are wanted

To every broken heart, He stands with open arms

You are wanted

To every searching soul, look to the rising sun

If you’re lonely, hurting, gone too far

To the outcast you come as you are

For you, you are wanted, you, you are wanted

You, you are wanted, you, you are wanted

 

Let this be the day that joy takes the place

Of all of the years that shame tried to steal away

He is calling you

Lift your eyes to see His face

Come run into the arms of grace

 

You are wanted

To every broken heart, He stands with open arms

You are wanted

To every searching soul, look to the rising sun

If you’re lonely, hurting, gone too far

To the outcast you come as you are

For you, you are wanted, you, you are wanted

You, you are wanted, you, you are wanted

 

You, you have been marked

You’re set apart

And He calls you His

So you don’t have to search

Don’t have to look for where you belong

You are wanted.

Teach Peace

teach your children well Peace Flash

Wayne-Dyer_children erichuber.com

Each and every one of us has the ability to help teach peace in the world, whether we are parents or educators, or not.

We can be an example of how to behave peacefully with friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers we cross paths with.

By offering compassion, kindness, and acceptance with all other beings at all times, we are leading the way for others.

We are demonstrating what kindness is about. That’s what it means to role model. We are being the way-showers. We are teaching peace.

close ears but open eyes example

teach peace - PeaceFlash

teach peace

peace banner bloggers4peace

What A Child Lives With

every child is a different flower

Approach child two sentiments

if a child lives with fairness

If a child lives with encouragement, she learns to be confident.

If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with praise, she learns to be appreciative.

If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love.

If a child lives with approval, she learns to like herself.

If a child lives with recognition, he learns that it is good to have a goal.

If a child lives with sharing, she learns about generosity.

If a child lives with honesty and fairness, he learns what truth and justice are.

If a child lives with security, she learns to have faith in herself and in those around her.

If a child lives with friendliness, he learns that the world is a nice place in which to live.

If you live with serenity your child will live with peace of mind. With what is your child living?

[from Dorothy Law Nolte’s 1976 poem ‘Children Learn What They Live’ ~ Random images]

Kids Are Worth It!

nothing you do for children is wasted 450This post’s title is inspired by the wonderful works of Barbara Coloroso, an inspirational educator on the importance of informed and loving parenting. She has written many acclaimed books on how to become a better parent or educator.

In my on-going celebration of doing all we can to gain skills in becoming better childcare givers, here’s some information, a short video, and books I’ve found helpful in raising happy, kind, well adjusted children. Whether you’re a parent or not, let’s all gain knowledge on how to encourage and support children and teens as they grow into adulthood. This is for us all!

It really does take a village to raise a child and it takes all of us to help build a loving community and a peaceful world. Every single effort is worth it!

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Barbara Coloroso is a bestselling author and for the past 38 years an internationally recognized speaker and consultant on parenting, teaching, school discipline, positive school climate, bullying, grieving, nonviolent conflict resolution and restorative justice. She has appeared on Oprah, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and NPR and has been featured in the New York Times, Time, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, and other national and international publications. Her uniquely effective parenting and teaching strategies were developed through her years of training in sociology, special education, and philosophy, as well as field-tested through her experiences as a classroom teacher, laboratory school instructor, university instructor, seminar leader, volunteer in Rwanda, and mother of three grown children. Visit KidsAreWorthIt.com
She is the author of four international bestsellers:
“Kids Are Worth It! Raising Resilient, Responsible, Compassionate Kids”
“Parenting Through Crisis: Helping Kids in Times of Loss, Grief and Change”
“The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Pre-School to High School, How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence”
“Just Because It’s Not Wrong Doesn’t Make It Right: From Toddlers to Teens, Teaching Kids to Think and Act Ethically”

Parenting With Passion: Barbara Coloroso talks about the importance of listening to kids.

Here are parenting books I’ve enjoyed and encourage checking out:

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kids laughingKids Are Worth It! Raising Resilient, Responsible, Compassionate Kids ~By Barbara Coloroso
This parenting classic is set to teach a new generation of parents the importance of treating kids with dignity and respect. Rejecting the “quick fix” solutions of punishment and reward, Barbara uses everyday family situations ~ from sibling rivalry to teenage rebellion ~ to demonstrate sound strategies for giving children the inner discipline and self-confidence that will help them become responsible, resourceful, resilient, and compassionate adults. Amazon.ca Amazon.com

Raise Your Kids Without Raising Your Voice ~By Sarah Radcliffe
This book has become a favourite guide for parents. Radcliffe understands the challenges that parents face in the big and small tasks of raising kids. She offers stress-reduced strategies for gaining children’s cooperation, eliminating the need for anger and criticism. Gentle on both parent and child, these strategies can be easily learned and used by anyone. Her communication tools foster love, acceptance and healthy boundaries. And she helps parents cope with the most challenging aspect of childrearing: their own feelings of helplessness and stress. Simple and effective, this is a great book for any parent. View book on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
~By Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlich
Internationally acclaimed experts on communication between parents and children, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish offer this bestselling classic with fresh insights and suggestions as well as the authors’ time-tested methods to solve common problems and build foundations for lasting relationships. Enthusiastically praised by parents and professionals around the world, the down-to-earth, respectful approach of Faber and Mazlish makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding. Click to view this book on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com

children teach what-life-is-all-aboutWhat Do You Really Want For Your Children?
~By Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
If you have children, then you have dreams for them. You want to see them growing up happy, healthy, self-reliant, and confident in themselves and their abilities. But if you’re a typical parent, you’ve wondered if you’ll be able to give them all this. There’s good news: you can. Wayne Dyer shares the wisdom and guidance that have already helped millions of readers take charge of their lives ~ showing how to make all your hopes for your children come true. View on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com
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[Randomly sourced images off Google]

Precious Resource

Mother and Daughter Reading TogetherWhen I became a mother I was completely in the dark about being a parent. I was the first person I knew to go through the process of a pregnancy, giving birth and becoming a new parent so I had no role models. I had no idea of what to expect. Therefore I did what I’ve done all my life in such situations: I researched. Whenever I feel unsure of something I look more into it and read all I can about it. I want to see it being done, I want to be around others who are doing it and watch how they do it right. Research has always offered me reassurance.

playing for change imageLuckily there are many role models who adore children and know they’re our precious gift and hope for the future. These wise teachers share their knowledge in books, websites, workshops and courses. There is a wealth of information available to help anyone learn how to understand the importance of parenting and how do give our very best to this life-changing endeavour.

If we want to become a better chef, we make an effort to learn from others. Same with gardening, playing a musical instrument, or any other endeavour. We have to make an effort to learn the best way to do it. So let’s make an effort to learn how to excel at child care rather than just doing what we think works, or the way our parents raised us. Let’s see what new information resonates and works for our lives and our children. Even a few tips we acquire that can help calm quarrels and rivalries, build loving relationships, regain household order and foster mutual respect is worth every effort it takes to obtain the information and the time it takes to do some reading.

children laughingNo one is born with the knowledge of how to be an excellent parent, and becoming a parent does not automatically make one a good parent. Like stand up comics have sarcastically observed, we have to get a license to drive a motorcycle or car, or to even have a dog, but any fool can have a kid!

Let’s not be foolish with this precious role we’ve been granted as parents (or anyone who spends quality time with youngsters such as teachers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nannies and babysitters) and get wise by picking up a book filled with the generous assistance of those who want to help. Libraries are filled with books on the subject of raising children into well adjusted and happy adults who will lead our world into the peaceful future we know we all deserve. Let’s make the effort to learn how to raise happy kids because it’s priceless!

children - Alice Walker[Randomly sourced images]

Kahlil Gibran “On Children”

kahlil gibran novel the-prophetLebanese artist, writer and poet Kahlil Gibran‘s novel from 1923 “The Prophet” has been translated to over forty languages, has sold over 100 million copies, and has never been out of print. Click here to view it on Amazon. According to Wikipedia, Kahlil Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, only behind William Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu.

While the entire novel is a beloved masterpiece, a favorite section will forever remain ‘On Children‘. Please visit my post from last Mother’s Day that was inspired by these wise words. Also inspired were the group Sweet Honey In The Rock (see post) who’ve recorded a lovely rendition in celebration of this incredible writing by Gibran. I’ve included the words to Gibran’s original work here as well as the slightly altered lyrics by the performers. May we be inspired to sing along to the uplifting beat and raise the upcoming generation remembering these truths.

Let us also remember the wise words from Mahatma Gandhi, “If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”

Kahlil Gibran’s On Children

Sweet Honey In The Rock performing Kahlil Gibran’s “On Children”

Your children are not your children
They are the sons and the daughters of Life’s longing for itself
They come through you but they are not from you
And though they are with you, they belong not to you
You can give them your love but not your thoughts
Sweet-Honey-in-the-Rock logo 200They have their own thoughts
They have their own thoughts
You can house their bodies but not their souls
For their souls dwell in the place of tomorrow
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams
You can strive to be like them
But you cannot make them just like you
Strive to be like them
But you cannot make them just like you
Your children are not your children
sweet honey in the rock - small photoThey are the sons and the daughters of Life’s longing for itself
They come through you but they are not from you
And though they are with you, they belong not to you
You can give them your love but not your thoughts
They have their own thoughts
They have their own thoughts
You can house their bodies but not their souls
For their souls dwell in the place of tomorrow
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams
You can strive to be like them
But you cannot make them just like you
Strive to be like them
But you cannot make them just like you.
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