“Mom, I need to talk”
As my 11-year-old daughter, Ella looked at me from the passenger seat with her big brown eyes on the way to school to pick up her eldest sister who is 13; Ava, from play practice, she asked me if I ever felt alone when I was young.
I noticed a glaze in her eyes as if she was about to cry. There was a soft, vulnerable look about her. But as my life would have it, being a busy mom of 4, at the same time, in the back seat there was lots of noise. My six-year-old son, Brent, was singing to his little sister, Alexa, who is now 18 months. And although it was in good intent, it sounded like complete chaos.
But as always, I blocked every noise out other than Ella’s sad voice and I let her know there were many times I felt alone as a child. I then asked her to clarify and she replied, telling me she felt like people did not always understand her.
I shared my similar feelings that I had at her age. I often would go on walks and create songs reflecting what I was going through at that time. Or being a runner, I would go for a run and try to sort out what was upsetting me.
But, I also let her know that as a child I always knew I could talk to my mom and she could always talk to me. My mom was always an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on and she could relate to my sensitivity because she was and is still the same in this regard. After getting to the bottom of what was upsetting her, we came up with a solution to the drama that was occurring between girls arguing at her school. The next day she went to school and talked to her friends and they all made up. She came home that day from the bus with an extra spring in her step and told me that my advice had helped.
She heard my message because I listened and heard her voice and this is an important part of parenting.
You are not alone. With all that is going on the world I feel the need to write this because there is always someone to talk to. Whether it is a parent, sibling, friend or passerby; most people want to help each other. As human beings, we are social in nature and we crave a purpose, a reason for living each day. Why not use this for the greater good and help one another? And that is just want I do each day. I try to spread sunshine into other people’s worlds.
If you are a parent you can begin this in your very own household with your children by helping to mold your offspring to bring greatness to the world. Let them know they are never alone. You can start with these simple followings.
We All Have Gifts
Let your children know we all have gifts and help them to identify what their gifts are. We are all unique and special in our very own way and we need to focus on this. Instead of looking down, look up at all you encompass and be proud. As parents, we need to teach our children to use our gifts whether this is being athletic, being artistic or whatever it may be and share this with the world. You can help others by sharing these gifts or even inspire them to share their own talents.
Who I am today as an adult is because of this. My parents told me I was athletic, smart and outgoing and for this reason I pushed for an athletic scholarship in college and today I am a trainer.
So, let them know just how special they are, I guarantee they will remember this and it will mold them into who they are later in life!
You are Beautiful
Tell your children they are beautiful. It’s not just about a pretty or a handsome face but deep within; they are beautiful! Beauty is about a good soul and doing what is right to better the world. It’s about making changes to help others because of the good you possess within.
Teach your kids to spread kindness daily to the people they encounter, through an email or a call. We need more kindness in the world and this will inspire others to reciprocate with kind acts in return. Sometimes kindness is in the form of listening to the employee in the grocery store talk about their troubles and offering a solution, paying a compliment, and other times, it may be cooking a meal for a friend that is sick. There are so many wonderful ways to spread kindness, so encourage your kids and lead by example!
If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, Zip It
As a parent, you a role model and your kids will often follow in your footsteps so it is important to practice what you preach.
Do not tell your kids to do as I say and not as I do; rather, lead by example. So, teach them the power of positivity. Teach them to be good people in the decisions they make each day. Teach them to learn more about the world and have a genuine passion for how they can use this information to enrich the lives of others. And most of all, teach them to speak positively about others and if they do not have anything nice to say to someone, do not say anything at all. There is so much more bullying today with the power of social media and it has a negative impact on people of all ages. So please be nice—you get what you give in life!
Let your children know they are not alone. There is so much good in this world and they can create even more. We can all make a difference. Small changes add up to make a tremendous impact on the universe!