To answer this blog’s main question, another question has to answered first: What does it mean to be an empowered parent? A family who is led by adults who see the possibility in any situation are empowered parents. A family whose motto is, “We get through everything by co-creating together,” has empowered parents. An empowered parent is one who knows Who She Really Is and teaches this to her offspring. An empowered parent lives in the Land of Possibility.
With all those utopian statements, do empowered parents lie awake at night with worry about their children? Do empowered parents cry due to stress? Do they cuss because they’re so angry? Yes, yes, and yes. An empowered parenting style doesn’t mean everything goes smoothly. It means that everything is approached with an awareness that solutions always exist and they can be implemented.
The dismay, distraction, and the disconsolation of life provides information. It provides awareness to appreciate, enjoy, and acknowledge when peace, joy, and cooperation is happening. Upsetting situations reveal when we are in empowerment and when we are not. Both work in tandem and bring forth awareness of where one stands. So, yes, empowered parents experience the highs and lows of parenting just like every parent does, but the difference is how long the dismay, distraction, and the disconsolation lasts and how these are perceived.
Empowered parents “snap out of it” quicker than parents who live from a “not sure about this life thing” perspective. Empowered parents understand that everything is working for them… even the unpleasant situations. They understand the Law of Opposites and what it means for their lives: solutions always exist equal to each problem. Since problem and solution are opposites just like up and down are opposites along with hot/cold, here/there, me/you, and dry/wet, solutions automatically appear alongside problems. It’s law…they have to!
Always believing solutions exist means always seeking them. Know of any unempowered parents who complain endlessly and stay stuck seemingly for a very long time? The difference is very obvious.
Knowing the Law of Opposites exists, you can truly now rely on The Universe supporting you with solutions for whatever situation confronts you or your family.
Problems, challenges, difficulties, strife, and compromising situations are all part of the earthly journey…fortunately.
“What? Fortunately? Have you see what is going on lately??”
I do understand that life can be quite challenging. If I ran down the list of the challenges I have faced, you’d understand that I have experience in this category of life. Perspective is everything. Problems are not going away any time soon so making peace with them is essential…or could be, at the very least, helpful.
I can tell you this: You will not have a problem beyond what you can handle.
“Oh good grief! You really believe that? What about when people die? How can you make such a bold statement?”
I can because I know that this life experience is for the highest good of all of us. I know that there is no deity creating situations for me that are too hard or sending situations as punishment. I know that ANY problem is MY Soul providing me opportunity to be more than I was yesterday. If there is an aspect of my Soul that wants to grow, then my Soul will create the environment in which to experience the growth-enhancing situation fully supported to successfully experience it.
When one does a review of the challenges faced so far, one can see the benefits they brought. Challenges can lift us to new heights. If this occurred in the past, wouldn’t it make sense, then, that it’ll happen in the present and future?
I have always found with 100% that clarity follows chaos. In the midst of a problem, it is hard to see clearly. When the problem fog has lifted, vision is restored. And, that vision is mostly likely enhanced.
We are not alone when dealing with any struggle. There are multitudes of “assistants” just waiting to be asked to help. We have given these beings many names depending on our location, culture, or spiritual perspective. No matter the name, they are Divine beings ready to connect to us, assist us, and show us a way through any struggle. Meditate and ask for the highest white light being to show itself to you. Ask for a name. Ask for assistance. This interaction will feel good at the Soul level. If it does not, meditate longer and again connect with the highest white light being. You’ll feel it as peace, love, and joy. Then, ask again for assistance.
Every aspect, part, and day of our earthly journeys exist for our highest good. You’ll find this to be true unless you believe it to be otherwise. My experience has proven to me that life fully supports me even when facing problems, challenges, difficulties, strife, and compromising situations.
I love the end of the year for many reasons. Picturesque snowy experiences. The gifting and receiving of the holidays. And, the grand opportunity to reflect back upon a year and make shifts for the upcoming new year!
So whoooaaa! December already? And, yet, I know I lived each day, each moment, but, gosh, it’s already time for 2021? Yes, and, I’m so excited!
Why? Why am I so excited? It’s because I’ve already seen evidence of my personal shifts. I’ve been doing spiritual cleaning for a while now, and I can see the fruits of my labor. That is something to be excited about, for sure! I also see stabilization of my intentions. By this, I mean I know when I’m focused on my intentions, goals, desires for life, AND, I catch myself when I’m not quicker and shift quicker than ever before. Yes! So, more of me (thoughts, beliefs, and feelings) are focused on what I want. It’s a grand magnetic pull or an attraction. It’s a thrilling place to live! (Even in the middle of a global pandemic.)
Wayne Dyer explains it well. I release what does not serve me.
“Why? How? Does this really work?”
Oh, yes, it does. I’m living proof. I’ve transformed myself and my world. I’m not the person I was 5 years ago, 10 years ago, and certainly, not the person I was 20 years ago and before that.
“Well, doesn’t that apply to everyone?”
Not necessarily as there are some people who stay stuck in their old beliefs, thoughts, and feelings their whole lives. And, not necessarily to the same degree. We all progress to the degree we want to progress.
So the questions are, “Do you want to progress? And, if yes, to what degree?”
One progresses by honing in and focusing upon what is wanted. It’s like building energy or momentum for a desired outcome. With this momentum comes opportunities that weren’t previously there or seen. In this momentum, a bridge is built to bring you closer and closer to the kind of life you want to experience. In this momentum is joy.
Build your personal momentum with a multi-faceted method. Replace all negative sayings or pictures with positive ones. Even pictures that are meant to be funny can be counterproductive in your life. De-clutter anything in your life that needs organization. Closets, relationships, projects, and garages…anything that needs organization, declutter it! Write post-it notes on mirrors to remind yourself to be in your momentum. Statements such as, “I am a great artist who’s talent will be appreciated by thousands within 2021,” are fabulous reminders.
Free yourself of the struggle mindset with meditation. Meditation is the ultimate strategy to enter and stay in your personal momentum. Connection to the Divine is essential. This is really connecting to your true nature as we are all droplets of the Divine on life journeys. I often write in my books: “We are spirits in borrowed body suits on life journeys trying to have the best experiences right now.” Meditation deals with the part of us (subconscious) that has a big impact on our daily lives. So mediation can augment and change our subconscious. There are many guided meditations that people have offered to help one another. Be sure of the source of the meditation you select. You can feel the positive energy or not.
When the struggle mindset sneaks in, talk to it. Tell it that you recognize its presence, thank it for being so annoying to get your attention, share with it that it has done its job well, explain you no longer need its services, tell it that it has come into completion, and then send it back to Source/Divine permanently so that it can not reestablish with you or anyone else in any form.
“You always have options with everything,” is another sentence I like to write in many of my books. It’s a belief I live my life from every day. I hope you have found many options to free your life of struggle. It really is a choice. It is a time for the end of struggle. When you live this way, you will set the example for others to do so. It’ll ooze out from you and spread. Then, you’ll notice that your life is surrounded by empowered, struggle-free people. Fantastic!
“It’s going to be wonderful! You’re going to have so much fun! There will be new experiences that you’ll love. You’ll make new friends! You’ll learn so many things! Each day will be a wonderful adventure!”
Do these statements sound familiar? Were they the enthusiastic comments you said to your youngster about kindergarten? I hope so, yes! You wanted to imbue positivity. Your goal was to get your child’s education started on a positive path. You talked about all the good things kindergarten has to offer waaaaaaay before the first day, right? Your parental determination wanted things to go as smoothly as possible so you implemented a kindergarten-get-ready-protocol years before it was a reality!
I’m going to restate that last sentence in a slightly different way: By doing the kindergarten-get-ready-protocol, you pre-paved the way to that single kindergarten experience YEARS before it was a reality.
My question today is…are you doing this with middle school?
With your kindergarten-get-ready-protocol, did you talk about the pitfalls of kindergarten? Did you warn your child that there would be some mean kids? Did you linger on the subject of others who would take your child’s items? Other who would possibly bite your child? Others who would knock your child down at recess? Probably not. You focused on the good, positive aspects of kindergarten!
Again, my question today is…are you doing this with middle school?
Even though I suggest to parents to begin a middle-school-get-ready-protocol when their child is in third grade, and even if you are experiencing middle school parenting now, you can still begin today to pre-pave the way for the rest of your child’s middle school experience.
There is significant purpose of middle school and magnificent opportunity for tremendous positive growth in middle school. Middle school isn’t just a holding place for your child until he or she can be rational, mature, and responsible. No! Middle school is where the foundational stepping stones are laid for the rest of the developmental stages. The middle school years are tremendously important!
It is a HUGE parental opportunity to set the tone for the rest of your child’s teen years. This is a pivotal point. A lot of the positivity and success depends on you. Not all of it, but a lot of it. So what you focus upon, point out, and talk about today and this point forward will determine to a great degree what the end result will be today…tomorrow…a year from now…into your child’s adult years…and waaaaaaay into your grandkids’ lives as well.
Think about it. How you parent your child today will most likely result in a particular pattern of behaviors – hopefully, desirable behaviors. Your parental pattern today will most likely be carried on into your child’s parenting pattern for your grandkids. In this elongated view, you are influencing several generations of your ancestral line. What kind of parenting legacy do you want to live and leave? It begins today.
BUT, we know it wasn’t all like the above description. It’s the same with middle school. Yes, there are many negatives and challenges I could list here, but what kind of middle school path do you want to pre-pave? The path filled with nails and tacks spewed everywhere or the path that is fun with a few bumps in the road?
It’s time to decide because as the parent you have focusing power for your middle school child. Is life a half-empty or half-full glass?
Can you tell your child, “It’s going to be wonderful! You’re going to have so much fun! There will be new experiences that you’ll love. You’ll make new friends! You’ll learn so many things! Each day will be a wonderful adventure!” as well as, “There will be situations that I will help you through. We will create solutions together. The benefits of middle school outweigh the challenges. You’ll grow tremendously from all the experiences you’ll have. You have a more defined view of friendship by the end of middle school. You will be wiser when it comes to seeking your activities, friends, and clubs. You’ll be prepared for high school academics!”
Yes! That is pre-paving the way to, during, and after middle school!
Have you heard yourself lately yell, “Why did you do that???” to your teen after he or she made a decision that feels completely off, weird, wrong, or terrible to you?
“What were you thinking?” is another question that these pre-emergent adults hear from their parents after making a choice that didn’t fit in well with parental thought patterns or family morals.
These just might be common questions you’ve been asking as you parent your middle schooler or teen. And, it’s okay to ask them…but, what if there was a way to break the cycle of this typical scenario: teen makes decision, teen’s decision creates a mess, parents ask the questions after the decision, teen may or may not learn from situation, parents brace for the next decision and ensuing mess.
Most teens will respond with a defensive, snarky shoulder shrug or a frustrated “I don’t know!” response when asked about their thought processes before decisions were made. They’re perplexed as well. They’re frustrated right alongside of their parents. They’re likely to get angry, too. The after-the-incident-questions are mostly likely to result in yelling from both sides. This back and forth questioning just isn’t going to work for reducing or eliminating this scenario in the future.
The truth is most of the time, teens make decisions without really thinking or stopping to think or being aware that they can think. To stop this typical cycle is to address it, provide a plan for it, and teach making-decision skills before a decision-making situation arises.
In our fast-paced world, how can parents get their teen’s attention? How can they even have a chance to enter into their child’s mind before sending them off to school to interact with the multitude of stimuli that seemingly comes at them at lightning speed? It is a daunting task, I understand, but there is hope.
The first step is to talk about decision-making when there is no mess currently going on that needs to be cleaned up. When all is calm is the best time to talk about this very important life skill. It’s important not only for the teen years, but for all of adulthood. Parents want to enjoy their adult children, who are making positive decisions. Parents do not want to still be parenting their adult children so teaching decision-making now is an investment in your parenting future.
Begin with discussing your own decision-making stories. What went well and what went sour? Why? What would you do the same and differently? How do you make decisions now? Essentially, you are evening the playing field. You are creating an environment that says, “I know it’s challenging being a teen shifting between childhood and adulthood. I understand, but I’m going to offer you a way out of the struggle. You don’t have to suffer like I did.”
Now that you are both on the same page with common ground and mutual understanding, you can teach decision-making skills. It begins with desire. What does anyone want for his or her life? Peace, joy, and love? I certainly hope so! Every decision is either going with or against one’s desire. The second part of this conversation is creating a desire statement, which can be as general or as specific as your child wants it to be right now. Discuss how this is an on-going creation as one’s desire changes with time.
I desire for a life of peace, joy, and love.
I desire a life that is filled with cooperation from everyone I meet.
I desire a life that is filled with fun, passion, and enjoyment.
I desire a life that has enjoyable people who are fun.
I desire a life that happens smoothly with positive people and fun.
Now, how do we know that these desires are occurring in our lives? It’s very simple: we feel good. Positive vibes feel good and that is the indicator that sends the message, “Yes, this is the way to go.” Yes, decision-making is about feelings and not solely by thinking. In all of my Empowering Kids: Choose, Groove, Move books, I explain this decision-making process in depth. I use this jingle: “If you feel less than great, hesitate. If it’s a good vibe you know, go!”
Here is my system:
Choose – realize that this Earth life journey experience offers a plethora of options. Choose from the vast array! Know that options abound for everything. Realize that you have options all the time. “You are never stuck. Your child is never stuck. You always have options with everything.” Talk about having options a lot and often. Put this into your daily conversation with your teen. Put it on the refrigerator. Post it on the bathroom mirrors. Write it in your child’s agenda. Surround your home with option positivity! Allow this option mentality to permeate your home, sink into your family’s psyche, and become part of your family’s philosophy. Create a culture within your home that says, “Options always abound for us.”
Groove – This is the feeling part. Once anyone has selected an option, pause to see how it feels at the Soul level. Begin a daily discussion about Soul-level feelings vs. surface feelings. When something feels good or peaceful, loving, caring, and positive, then it is at the Soul level. These decisions/options will be for the betterment of all. Even when a decision isn’t what others want, the end result is for the benefit of all. An example of this is when a decision to break up with another is a selected option and it feels good. The person on the receiving end of this decision may not like it, but in the end will be for everyone’s benefit. (See my Empowering Kids: Relationships book.)
Move – once a selection/option/choice is selected and it feels great, then it is okay to proceed.
Can’t decide? Suzy Welch, a columnist and former editor of the Harvard Business Review, created the 10-10-10 rule for decision-making. It basically says to ask oneself if a decision will feel good in 10 minutes, in 10 months, and in 10 years from now. While this applies more to adults because teens live in the moment so much more, we can adapt Suzy’s 10-10-10 Rule to 10 seconds, 10 minutes, and 10 hours from now.
My Choose, Groove, Move three-step system slows down decision-making into three simple, but important steps. It is simple enough for anyone to use…including teens. It incorporates the whole person – mind, body, and spirit, which makes it unique. We are not brains on sticks, but are integrated beings so it makes perfect sense to live as integrated beings with all decision-making. Living from and through the spiritual perspective is important for positive experiences to be drawn to us.
Talk about Choose, Groove, Move on a daily basis so that it becomes a part of the thinking process for everyone in your household. Post notes in clothes drawers, wall, mirrors, and calendars that remind of how to create positive decision for the betterment of all. Soon, you will not need to frustratingly say, “Why did you do that??” but will say, “Great choice today. How did you do that?” This is purposeful, positive parenting at its best.
“I love him! He’s my soulmate!” can be heard from someone in love. And, it’s a great experience to make this connection in such a deep way. It’s part of the deliciousness of life. But, are all soulmates the positive ones? There are challenging soulmates, indeed, that are just as important and helpful to the deliciousness of life.
Negative soulmates? Oh yes. Keeping these people in perspective greatly assists to altering one’s view of them from negative to challenging to helpful. These soulmates are just as essentials as the lovey-dovey kind. The ones who are hard to deal with are just as important as the one who are easy to enjoy.
Before we enter these bodies on life journeys, we create a plan for our lives – a guideline of sorts – because we always have free will. We agree to meet certain people at certain times for certain purposes for certain durations. These people are part of a soul group, or a cluster of beings who agree to participate in our lives. Some of these souls agreed to be the the fun, loving kind and some of them agreed to be the challenging, antagonist kind. Both are greatly beneficial.
Take a look at your life. Who is in your life? Was in your life? For how long? For what purpose? Who has spurred you onto bigger and better things? What interactions with others caused you to become more than you were yesterday, a year ago, a decade ago? These all are your soulmates in your soul group.
Please be assured that all agreements are made from complete love. In fact, it could be discussed that those who agree to be the challenging kind do so from a tremendous love. They love us so much that they agreed to be ornery, difficult, challenging, mean, ugly, and even terrible in this life so that we can progress onto something bigger and better. Since we all go through the veil of forgetfulness on our way into these bodies, we forget about the agreement made in complete love. We stumble upon these people and BAM! it’s hard.
With this kind of perspective, one can view them differently in an empowering way. A relationship breakup may just be the catalyst to finding a more agreeable life partner. A challenging teacher for your son or daughter may just be the push to produce more academically than ever thought possible or could be the avenue to speaking up for oneself.
Since these types of soulmates are not pleasant, how to deal with them on a day-to-day basis? After all, some challenging soulmates remain in our lives for years and years such as an overbearing mother-in-law. On a day-to-day basis, you place them outside of your sphere or energetic bubble.
This bubble, or sphere, is very real. It is pertinent to realize you have a sphere in which you allow or disallow ideas, energy, people, and thoughts to enter. Realizing you have this sphere is what allows you to utilize the gate on it to decide what comes in and what stays out. While shooting darts of love to these outside-the-sphere challenging soulmates, you can still appreciate the conflict they brought to your life as an instigator to get you going forward.
Perhaps, a soured friendship due to betrayal made you focus on what you really want in life – honest friends. Shoot a dart of love from inside your sphere to the person outside of your sphere.
To “see” one’s sphere more clearly, I recommend yoga…specifically the Warrior Two pose. The energy shoots out beyond one’s hands creating a sphere all around. You can make your sphere as big or as little as you feel comfortable. Spend some time getting to know your sphere. What is in it? What does it look like? Are there any holes in it that need mending? Who is in your sphere? Does anyone or anything need releasing to the outside? What does the energy of your sphere feel like?
Yes, we have many different types of soulmates for different times, purposes, and lengths. Utilizing them for what they are is key for personal forward movement.
It goes without saying that the 2020 school year has already been different. The 2020 fall semester will be truly unique as well. It is important for positive mental health to appreciate these changes and all the benefits that can be derived from the changes.
- Masks. For those returning to face-to-face education, think of all the germs with this inconvenience that won’t get as close to your child this school year. The usual, normal colds, flus, and strep throat issues should be very limited to nil. Makeup won’t be as important. Why wear it? No one is going to see it. Prioritizing verbal communication will occur. Having to make more of an effort to talk through a mask, one may think twice before speaking in the school setting. Couldn’t we all use some extra think time before verbalizing our thoughts?
- Virtual Education. What can be used with the extra time now that your child isn’t traversing the school hallways, which takes time? What career options can be researched since your child can jump out of bed and watch class in pjs? Focused curriculum time that shortens the normal education day with virtual education allows for the pursuit of other interests such as yoga as well as personal, casual reading, nature walking, and meditation.
- Social Distancing/Isolation. There’s nothing like difficulties to inspire ideas. When facing a challenge, one tends to create solutions. What options are there for the current state of isolation? What new ways can people connect? What about good, old-fashioned letter writing? Certainly, the isolation will prioritize authentic friends, which can be a very positive benefit, indeed.
- Death. There is nothing like death to create the desire for life. I have been writing for years now about taking one’s children of all ages for a stroll through a cemetery. Inspiration will be nearly automatic when reading the tombstones of those lives already lived. We still in our bodies have options remaining to create our lives. The current situation as we realize there are many souls leaving their bodies during this time of covid-19 is no different than those who died during wars, other plagues, or from normal wear-and-tear of the physical body because we all at some level of consciousness decide when to leave our bodies. We create our births and our deaths. Some of us arrive only to be here for minutes. Some of us come into bodies to be here for a few years. Some of us come here to experience life for decades. All lives are created on purpose no matter the duration. We are creators of all parts of our lives. Nothing is ever happening to us, but we create each moment. When this is understood, one can live to the fullest. To understand death, one can live. I highly recommend you and your child reading this book:https://www.amazon.com/Mitch-albom-Tuesday-Morrie
- Illness. What is illness? What is disease? At the heart of all illness is disease or dis-ease otherwise known as not (dis) ease or unease. It is clear what makes our bodies sick – unease. So, how can we focus upon ease? How can we take this literal global shake up to reduce stress and unease for ourselves? For others? Illness is a teacher. What is it telling you? Your child? With social distancing, virtual education, and more time, how can your child find his or her ease? These questions aren’t just rhetorical, but earnest questions to pursue and answer. What can be implanted in one’s life to dramatically increase the ease factor?
- World connection. Were you amazed at the global connection beginning in March with the news of covid-19? Were you amazed how Earth benefited from less human interaction? Did you see the reports of the sea turtles returning in record numbers? Did you see how much less smog there was over multiple cities? The world connection was amazing to watch. The interaction, communication, and collaboration was…amazing. If you weren’t wowed or amazed, perhaps, a new view would be warranted. We are all One. We are all spirits in bodies on life journeys trying to have the best experiences right now. Living from this perspective makes all the difference.
In April and May as summer nears, we have wonderful, euphoric wishes for what summer will hold, and many times, it doesn’t live up to the dreams. With a new school year on the horizon, what can be done to still make this summer the best one yet? What can be done to experience triumphant summer dreams?
I’m a big list-maker, list-user, and list-enthusiast so, of course, make a list of all the things achieved so far in summer 2020. With the Covid-19 issue, this will be even more satisfying because of the creativity needed with quarantining and self-isolation. Entries on this list will be quite unique from other summers, for sure.
Making this list is part of seeing with different eyes that the summer wasn’t wasted, but, in reality, much was gained, accomplished, and obtained. Did your child, middle schooler, or teen exhibit unusual or new maturity? Were dishes put in the sink this summer without reminding? Were neighbors greeted with regularity? Did your child delve into art? Intense basketball practice? Friendship? Was your child less drama-filled? Put EVERYTHING on this list.
Next list: with the remaining time, write the desired events and activities yet to be done. Once these are identified and scheduled, you’ll have no regrets for the summer’s end. Instead, you’ll be ready fo the fall. You’ll feel fulfilled, complete.
Here are some ideas for the remainder of the summer: 1. Painting At Home. It’s relatively inexpensive. Canvases range in price with size as well as the painting supplies. Paint a collage of summer 2020 activities! 2. Exercise. No, make it the fun exercise like creating obstacle courses using boxes and whatever is in the garage. Youtube has a tremendous variety of options. Be creative with this. Walk to the ice cream shop. Walk in a new park. 3. Explore New Areas. Been thinking about that place you went to as a child? Go and take your kids. Want to explore the downtown of your city? How can you be a tourist in your own town? Create a scavenger hunt in your town for your kids to do. Can they get a napkin from a particular restaurant, a grocery store flyer, and a rock from the river? Can they deliver cookies to a neighbor, take a picture of a bird in the park, and run around the school building two times? Oh what fun! 4. Learn Something New. Do you wish your kids knew more languages? Utilize the remaining weeks to stimulate their interest in knowing additional foreign languages. How about pre-learning for the upcoming school year such as worm and frog anatomy or chemistry? 5. Walk A Cemetery. This is a motivational walk because there’s nothing like reading about lives already lived to provide inspiration for the present to achieve. You and your family members still have opportunity to be and do. What does one really want to do in life? The present moment is THE power moment of creation. 6. Switch Sleeping Experiences. Just for fun, sleep in another’s bed while he or she sleeps in yours. Sleep in the opposite direction. Sleep outside. Sleep in a tent, hammock, or screened in porch. It’s just the break from routine that will create the fun memory.
Triumphant summer dreams are very much still available to you. List what was already achieved. List and plan for what is yet to be done. Be creative!
Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2020
Today, I am still the Producer/Founder/CEO of a non-profit performing arts company, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and using so many of Lizabeth’s successful techniques in both teaching and working with parents. Even though she wrote them with middle school in mind, they are very applicable to late elementary through high school. Middle School Years Without Tears is a book every middle school parent needs to read. In fact, I will recommend it to every parent whose child is in my company. Lizabeth sets the stage in Chapter 1 by answering some important questions parents have as their child approaches grades 6-8. “What is MS, why do we have it, who are the teachers, why do they want to teach these kids, who is a MS student, what is their (teachers and students) day like, and finally lying (to themselves, their teachers, and parents)?” Lizabeth nailed the answers and certainly will open your eyes as a parent/teacher. She said it, and I have said it to my parents over and over again, middle school is not the time to walk away from your child and act like they are adults. They may push you away, but learn how to communicate with them.
That brings me to the 2nd section of her book that I feel is critical to all situations-communication! Lizabeth addressed every person regarding communication-what to say, how to say it, and when to say it! Wow! When I think back on all those years of teaching and the conferences I had-the good, the bad, and the ugly! The bad and ugly could have been so much more positive and productive if parents and students had a guide to follow back then. Well, today you have her book! Understand how important communication is and how it can positively affect your child. Mistakes are made every day, but we all learn that positive attitudes and expectations are the way through which we can make changes. I know the world today loves texts and emails, but I prefer face to face communication with all people interested in what is best for the child. That is another reason why everything Lizabeth lays out in this book works as long as every person wants the same outcome and is willing to work to make it happen.
In the world today, when we parents(yes, I am a parent to 2 adult children, and numerous other “adopted” former students and performers who refer to me as “dad”) have to help our child(children) overcome bullying, prejudice, and lack of self-esteem, Lizabeth shows us what to say to help them understand so they can move forward learning empowerment. She also points out how important it is to listen not only to what they are saying, but to what they are not saying. Parents and teachers have a very important role to know how children see themselves. Suicide is preventable if we are in tune with our children. Lizabeth has some real insight in this book about that topic.
I have given you some examples of how this book has influenced me both as a teacher and a parent. There are many self-help books on the market but Lizabeth’s “suggestions and strategies are based upon one premise: with loving parental guidance (not dictation), parents can empower their children to positively control and direct the events of their lives for the betterment of all instead of the events controlling their lives based on the understanding of Who We Really Are.”
Thank you, Lizabeth, for again giving parents a book that will surely help make those middle years rewarding and joyful!Chuck Long,
This is an excerpt from my book, Middle School Years Without Tears: Creating and Managing for Wonderful, Awesome, Successful, and Thrilling Middle School Experiences.
Socrates had a good teaching protocol way back in the 300s BC. He encouraged learning through the questioning from his students. He drew answers out of thembecause he believed the answers were already inside of them. Socrates understood the satisfaction he could have regarding teaching was dependent on the satisfaction his students were having. It’s a symbiotic relationship: a relationship where both parties are benefit and neither is damaged.
Your child’s teachers may or may not be in synch with such a relationship. Your child’s teachers may not be anywhere near this understanding, but the fact remains, these are your child’s teachers so, how can you help your child have a positive experience with all of her teachers anyway? Here are some strategies and suggestions to do just that.
Your Student Communicates First
Encourage your child to communicate first with the teachers on his or her own before you, the parent, intervene. This promotes speaking up for oneself, learning how to communicate to a person in authority, and how to maintain positive relations regardless of a favorable outcome or not. Invaluable confidence can develop during such personal contact. The student learns to negotiate an issue, concern, or problem. A teacher may offer an alternative or compromise to the student’s request and this provides fertile soil for developing negotiating skills with others.
Before and during classes are the least effective and the least desired ways to go about communicating with teachers. Teachers are quite preoccupied at these times especially at the beginning of the lesson. It is to a student’s benefit to be wise about the timing and the approach. There are many commonsense, positive ways to do this.
- Upon entering the classroom, a student can ask to speak to the teacher after class.
- Upon entering the room, give the teacher a note regarding speaking to the teacher after class.
- E-mail the teacher to schedule a time to talk.
- Talk to the teacher during lunch.
- Talk to the teacher during the teacher’s planning time with prior approval.
Approaching the teacher is just as important as the conversation itself. This teaches the importance of how to get someone’s attention so that what you have to say is heard well.
For additional strategies to guide your child to communicate well with his or her middle school teachers, read Middle School Years Without Tears: Creating and Managing for Wonderful, Awesome, Successful, and Thrilling Middle School Experiences.