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Children And Chores: How To Create Young Entrepreneurs

In my house my children (from age three up) are responsible for making their own beds, putting their clothes in the laundry basket, folding and tidying their pyjamas and tidying the bathroom after bathing.

They are also responsible for emptying the dishwasher, laying and clearing the table for dinner, vacuuming a room each and helping with the laundry.

The key here is to sit down and talk over the responsibilities with them, gaining their agreement to perform the tasks.  No one likes to feel like they are being coerced or that they don’t have a choice.  Gaining their consent first, means that you can hold them accountable when they don’t want to uphold their commitment.

You can also use the chores as a way for them to earn something they want.  In our house the children have to earn their television and computer time.  The amount of chores or piano practice they do directly correlates to the amount of time they get to watch or play these things.

If they choose not to do the chores, then the natural consequence is real for them.

We don’t particularly want them to watch television, and they only are allowed about two hours per week maximum.  So having them earn it in this way really helps them to understand the privilege of living and how not to take things for granted.

Were you responsible for household chores as a child?  Would love to hear your views.

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Live Each Day As If It Was Your Last

It’s been a week now since a good friend of ours passed away, with his dad and brother ,in a very sad and tragic accident.  This week I have been thinking a lot about my own life and how I choose to live it in each moment.

Every time my husband and kids have walked out the door, I have thought about never seeing them again.  I made a promise to myself, never to leave them in anger; to always say goodbye properly.

Every time I have practiced yoga, I have thought about it being my last every practice, and have given myself permission to immerse myself fully, and empty my mind of nothing but the flow of my body.

Every time I have had an interaction with someone I care about, I have thought about making it more meaningful.  I have practiced really listening to what they are saying without allowing myself to become distracted.

Every time I have had the slightest opportunity, I have held my children close and loved them as much as I could.

The result of all this introspection?

Strangely enough, instead of feeling more melancholy, I have felt more joy.  I have rejoiced in the depth of my feelings and the closeness of my relationships, and I have nurtured myself and others, in a completely different way.

I have tried to live each day, as if it were my last.

Remember, all we have is this moment; this very moment.  Nothing else exists.

The past is gone and the future has not yet happened.

Don’t waste your moment; live it as if it were your last.

( P.S. Please feel free to share your moments with me and the other followers of this blog.  You matter to me.)

Life Is Precious – How Are You Spending Yours?

On the weekend we had a tragedy in our close family circle, where a close friend, his brother and his dad all passed away in a horrific farming accident.

It really got me thinking about life and how precious it is, and I renewed my commitment to myself to savour each moment, and live each day as if it was my last.

So with this in mind, I have devised a list of my top ten tips for life, love and happiness.

1.  Live life fully and joyfully while you are here.  To live it any other way is pointless.

2.  Take care of your family and friends, for it is these people who matter the most.

3.  Be eccentric and give people something worth talking about.  Brighten up a few lives with your craziness.

4.  Never not try for fear of screwing up.  Try everything that takes your fancy, for it is the trying, not the success that is important.

5.  Learn from your mistakes: find out what caused the mistake and fix it, so that you may try for success again next time.

6.  Don’t try to be perfect – you are perfectly imperfect so embrace it with your whole heart.

7.  Never leave a loved one in anger for you do not know if you will ever see them again.

8.  Never ever miss an opportunity to give or receive a hug.

9.  Try to understand that money does not cause happiness. You can choose to be happy right now, and really,why would you not?

10.  Remember that the things that bring the most joy are the simple things in life.  Focus on creating more of those.

 

Why Perfection Is The Lowest Standard You Can Have

“Perfection is the lowest standard any human can have.”

Heather Forbes

How many times have you read the above quote since you opened this blog post?  Can your brain compute it?

How can perfection be the lowest standard any human can have?  Surely reaching for perfection is why we are here?  Why we exist?

Consider for a moment when you were a child.  Do you remember it being okay for you to make mistakes?  When you seriously messed up and did something that caused destruction, did your parents just give you a loving hug and say, “Aw well dear, never mind”?

Probably not.

When we’re children we don’t understand why the big people get cross.

We don’t understand that they’re maybe having a bad day, or feeling a little sick, or worried about being late, or nervous in a new situation, or fearful of what people will think.

We have absolutely no way of understanding any of this.

So when they get mad and yell at us, we think it is because we have done something bad.  We think it’s because we are bad, and that there is some standard that we were supposed to achieve, or some way we were supposed to behave, that we failed to meet.

We very quickly learn that failure is bad: it makes mommy cross and feels very bad for me, so therefore should be avoided at all costs.

But guess what?

You aren’t perfect and you never will be.  

If perfection is your goal, then it’s absolutely the lowest standard you will ever have, because it’s not possible.  You’re striving for something you will never achieve, and are setting yourself up for permanent failure.

Stop striving for perfection.

Recognise that you are the best you can be, in this very moment.  Embrace your failures and use them as guidance for areas where you need to improve.

This is what makes a good person; a better person.  Recognition will bring you closer to where you want to be.

Exceeding Expectations: How Being A Parent Can Make You An Expert At Customer Service

I have four children under six and if you read any of my parenting posts on my blog you will see that I parent with compassion and respect.

I followed the Contented Baby routine with my kids: I woke them from naps, fed them according to prescribed times and practiced some “crying down” when I put them to sleep, knowing that they were fully winded and tired.  Some people don’t agree with routines for babies, and prefer instead to practice baby-led parenting.  

But in my opinion, as long as the choice the parent makes for their child is done with the health and happiness of the child at the forefront of their mind, they can’t go too far wrong.

Kind of like how you treat your customers.

The details of how you look after your customers needs aren’t really important.  Whether you give them discounts or special attention, it’s all horses for courses.

But if your intent is to look after them, with their health and happiness at the forefront of your mind, then what you choose doesn’t really matter.  It’s just content.

When you treat them as you would your kids; as individuals, with personal preferences and needs and desires, you will not be able to help but to surpass their expectations.

And just like the child, whose parent meets their needs efficiently, will be happy and healthy: so will your customers.

 

 

 

 

 

Children Behaving Badly: How Do You React?

Something to think about for the weekend…

Parents should not be judged by the behaviour of their children;

they should be judged by their reaction to it.”

Time Management For Mums: How To Take Control And Lose The Guilt

One of the biggest excuses we use for not having more of the things we want in life, is that we don’t have the time.  

In the past my life was extremely busy; being a stay at home mum with three young kids.  But even that wasn’t uncomfortable enough to make me act in a different way.  I finally decided to change when my fourth baby was born and I simply couldn’t continue the way I was.  

I felt guilty because I wasn’t spending enough time with the older kids, because every spare minute I had was spent tending to Jack.

I felt guilty that all I could do was bitch at my husband when he came in from work, cause I thought blaming him for my situation would make me feel better.

I felt guilty that I wasn’t able to work enough on Rainbow and bring in more customers.

I felt guilty that I never got to see my sisters and my parents and that every time they called me to say hello, I was distracted and preoccupied.

Quite simply, I felt like a total and utter failure.

The funny thing about hitting rock bottom is that there is only one way you can go from there: UP.  I decided to take control of my life, implement systems, take a step back and evaluate what is important.  

I set simple, measurable goals for my relationship, work and family that didn’t involve a massive amount of action or planning, but that started things moving in the right direction.

And do you know what happened?  Dramatic improvement.  You see, when I gave myself the luxury of more time, I actually knew how to spend it because I had a small, doable action list that included all the things that were important to me.  I now have purpose, direction and peace.  

Am I perfect?  Absolutely not.  But life certainly feels a million times more enjoyable.

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