Sunday, November 25, 2007


Life Balance: a feat we try to achieve while searching to be the best that we can we, while simultaneously raising our children to do the same. This is the equilibrium in our inner life force whereby our heartbeat matches the divine force that exists all around us. When this life balance peaks, our sense of peace, joy, love and wisdom act as one with our very souls.

"Clarence, you have to go down to Earth tonight. There's someone in trouble named George Bailey. Oh, what is the matter, is he sick? No, worse, he's discouraged."--From the movie, It's a Wonderful Life.

It's too easy as a parent to become discouraged when things don't seem to be going our way with our children. Bad behaviors and bad report cards become internalized, as if we were the ones with poor greades or who punched the bully on the bus. The 24-7 rapid fires lives we lead as parents seems never ending in our devotion to our children. We start our days an hour early to drive someone to Pop chorus, give up our lunch hour to get the material for the class project that was due yesterday, and end with running to the book store to purchase another copy of the book they forgot over the long holiday weekend. We clean, organize, and encourage. We read magazine articles on pitfulls to avoid in rasing our children.

We think we have it all together, only to find out they are failing 4 subjects. Or that they treated someone horribly and hung up on their best friend on the phone. Where did we go wrong? What are the neighbors kids doing so well, and we can't even get our kids to pick up their underwear after taking a shower or put their dishes in the sink? What program can we buy to make it all better? Where is our magic pill? Where is Mrs. Brady when we need her?

I have found the best thing you can do when the sky appears to be falling, is to look straight ahead, not up. See what is in front of you, and really pay attention to it. Compliment your child, not matter what. Find something to be happy about and smile.

So Wild Child is failing 4 subjects. He got a 91 in his technology class. A 91. That's a really amazing achievement for him, in a class I made him take instead of study hall. It teaches the whole Microsoft Office program, keyboarding, and basic computer office skills. I am sure he will be able to help me figure how to make a good Power Point presentation when he finishes the year. Or at least, make up excellent graphics for his My Space page. But it's a beginning, and I know I need to start there. Play it up. Be excited.

"Getting the first goal gives them the confidence to win. It's the key to the whole game."--BL, age 11, explaining his philosophy of the Sabres wins to his twin sister.

Sometimes when we listen carefully, we get all the encouragement we need from our own kids. While watching the hockey games this weekend, my youngest son got very excited when the Sabres scored the first goals in each game. He was jumping up and down and screaming, telling his sister they would win for sure. And she wanted to know why. Well, that's easy he said. Scoring the first goal gives them the confidence to win. They starting winning, and everyone is happy with them and congratulates them. This give the confidence to keep on going. Because they are happy, they are on top of the world, and they play well. They have fun. And then they win.

So, I was gratefully reminded to once again compliment my children and make them happy. When they have something to cheer about, they do better in other stuff. That's why I like to give candy bars when they get a hundred on an assignment. It makes them happy all over again, and reinforces the joy of succeeding.

And in their success, I find my success and joy. And that's all the encouragement I need.

Compliment someone today and see how joyful you feel.

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