When you thought I wasn’t looking …

A message every adult should read because children are watching you and
doing as you do, not as you say.

Father and child, pivotal parenting

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you hang my first painting on the
refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned
that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make my favorite cake for me,
and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn't looking I heard you say a prayer, and I knew that
there is a God I could always talk to, and I learned to trust in Him.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you make a meal and take it to a
friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of
each other.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw you take care of our house and
everyone in it, and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw how you handled your
responsibilities, even when you didn't feel good, and I learned that I would
have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw tears come from your eyes, and I
learned that sometimes things hurt, but it's all right to cry.

When you thought I wasn't looking I saw that you cared, and I wanted to be
everything that I could be..

When you thought I wasn't looking I learned most of life's lessons that I
need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn't looking I looked at you and wanted to say,' Thanks
for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn't looking.'

Each of us (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, nurse, friend)
influences the life of a child.

How will you touch the life of someone today?
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

Mum – the Official Job Title

Pivotal Mother

A woman, was renewing her driver's license at the Motor Registration office,
The counter clerk asked her to state her occupation

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.
"What I mean is," explained the counter clerk,
"do you have a job or are you just a ...?"
"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman.
"I'm a Mum."
"We don't list 'Mum' as an occupation,
'housewife' covers it,"
Said the clerk emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Medicare office.
The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar." "What is your occupation?" she probed.
What made me say it? I do not know.
The words simply popped out.
"I'm a Research Associate in the field of
Child Development and Human Relations."
The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right.
I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.
Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written,
In bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.
"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest,
"just what you do in your field?"
Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice,
I heard myself reply,
"I have a continuing program of research,
(what mother doesn't)
In the laboratory and in the field,
(normally I would have said indoors and out).
I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family)
and already have four credits (all daughters).
Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities,
(any mother care to disagree?)
and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it).
But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are
more of a satisfaction rather than just money."
There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she
Completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.
As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career,
I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3.
Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model,
(a 6 month old baby) in the child development program,
Testing out a new vocal pattern.
I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!
And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mum." Motherhood!

What a glorious career!
Especially when there's a title on the door.
Does this make grandmothers
"Senior Research associates in the field of
Child Development and Human Relations"
And great grandmothers
"Executive Senior Research Associates?"
I think so!!!
I also think it makes Aunts
"Associate Research Assistants."

Parent’s Guide to Healthy Sleep

Bedtime Reading for Children


Parenting Tweens and Teens – Always a Changing Game

Is it just me or is 24 hours really not as long as it used to be? And what about our kids? They're growing up at warp speed. Probably a blessing we're all too busy to notice them morphing into young adults before our eyes, otherwise how scary would that be? Of course, when it comes to other people's kids, you can't miss the changes, but with our own... most of us have a terminal case of blind spots. Unfortunately, turning a blind eye to reality isn't the most effective way to parent.


Life is all about change and our ability to deal with it. Our bodies, our feelings, our kids, our relationships, our life situation... all constantly changing. (So are all the molecules on your kitchen table, but we can save that for another time.) The more I meditate and breathe and read and write and think and teach, the clearer the changing nature of life becomes. The more I twist my torso into improbable positions (Hey, it's not painful, it's yoga!) the more I learn how flexibility is the best tool I've got going for me.

"Steady in the winds of change," my yoga teacher says. Steady as she goes. Steady, strong, centered. Those are the keystones to effective parenting. But steady doesn't mean "stuck" and true strength requires insight into what's needed right now.


Suppose you've always had a close relationship with your 12-year-old daughter. She's been a kid who's never held back from telling you everything she thinks and feels. You've prided yourself on the closeness you two share and how relationship reflects so positively on your parenting skills. Then one day you walk past her room and the door's closed. You go in. She's listening to music and reading. "Hi Dad," she grins, not removing her headphones.


You sit on the bed. "Hi, sweetheart. So tell me, what's new with you?"




An awkward silence follows.


"You want something, Dad?"


You shake your head and slowly walk toward the door. "Dad," your daughter says sweetly, "Next time could you please knock?"


"Sure, honey," your smile belies the ice pick skewering your heart. In the hallway your mind reels. Why should I have to knock at my own child's door?! We've never had closed doors between us! She must be hiding something. I'm going back in there and demand that she tell me what's going on. I couldn't talk to my father about anything that really mattered, so I'm going to make damn sure that my daughter...




What's going on here?

Is this about your 12-year-old's normal desire for some privacy and respect or is it about your own fear that your relationship with your child is changing into... who knows what?


Should you zig or zag? If you zig only because it's how you've always reacted when you're hurt then you're not paying attention to your child's needs. Nor are you awake to the parenting challenge in front of you. An unwillingness to change in spite of changes happening all around is a sure-fire formula for unhappiness.


The result will be internal struggles and plenty of ongoing conflicts with your ever-changing tween or teen.

What to do? How about going for a walk? An actual walk is great if you can swing it, but any conscious choice to take a head-clearing break will help. While you're in the self-imposed time out ask yourself:

What does my child need from me now? It's an essential question whenever you feel stuck in your parenting mission. Children's behavior at any time, any age, broadcasts a need. Your job is to identify their need as accurately as possible then offer your help. Of course, there's no formula that will always work because their needs constantly change. One moment she'll need a hug and an encouraging word. Another moment he'll need a sympathetic ear and no words from you at all. One time they'll need you to set clear limits with unambiguous consequences for noncompliance. Another time they'll need you to respect the meaning of a closed door without taking it personally.


Where do your needs as a parent come in? That depends. You're absolutely within your rights to have your role, your values, your rules and your property respected. Those are valid needs. But when you need to be needed by your child or you need to use your child to look good in the eyes of others, that's unhealthy. Always be an adult and take care of your own changing needs as best as you can. Your kids have a big enough job growing up and learning to take care of themselves without having to take care of you too.

Change is our constant companion on this journey we call life. Our kids are the clearest evidence of that. They're rapidly developing into the independent young adults. As parents we're privileged to have an essential role in their unfolding. If we pay close attention we get to witness parts of the process. We also have the honor of helping them become who they are. Part of the reward is an opportunity to learn and grow along with them.


It's a new year. Change is the air we breathe. The best we can do for ourselves and our family is to remain as steady as possible. It also helps to keep your eyes, your mind, and your heart open. That's what our kids need most from us.


Annie Fox, M.Ed. is an award winning author, educator, and online adviser for parents and teens. AnnieFox.com

Read excerpts from her books: Too Stressed to Think? and the new Middle School Confidential™ series. Download (free) her entire book:Teen Survival Guide to Dating & Relating.

Listen to her podcast series "Family Confidential: Secrets of Successful Parenting" FamilyConfidential.com.


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When is a Fever Too High?



With the nasty flu bug making its rounds, there's only so much eating healthy, getting enough rest, washing your hands, getting a flu shot, and avoiding germs one can do. If you're unlucky enough to get the flu, your body will hike up your body temperature to boil away all those germs. So, is there a point when your temperature can get too high?

When you get the flu, a sudden high fever is totally normal, and it can get as high as 104° F, and last for three to four days. The best thing you can do is to rest and drink plenty of fluids, since a fever can cause you to become dehydrated. Don't attempt to cool off your skin with cold packs since they'll just make you shiver, which will end up raising your body temperature. Instead you should alternate between taking Tylenol and ibuprofen every four hours to help reduce your fever. Alternating these meds will help to prevent accidental overdose, and sometimes the combination of the two will be more effective in bringing down your fever.

Fit's Tips: If your fever persists for more than five days, or it goes over 104° F, call your doctor and get some medical advice immediately.


From:  FitSugar


Giving your child the best start in life is simpler than you think.

Some beautiful truths about the first five years of life put together by our local library system ...


The Importance of Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child

According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in ten children between the ages of one and 15 has a mental health disorder and it is reckoned that 1 in 4 will experience some form of depression or anxiety at some point in their childhood.

Erika founded Karisma Kidz, a company that coaches children through their problems, helping them to learn to manage and counter any difficulties they are facing or having to deal with using play. Erika specialises in cutting-edge techniques that embrace Quantum Physics, Epigenetics, Noetic Science and Energy.

Having spent 14 years in Education, Parenting and Family Support and Performance Improvement, she decided to follow her passion for working with people at the subconscious level and delve into the world of Energy Work and Psychology.



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A 10-Year-Old’s Marching Orders for the Upcoming School Year


In my opinion, based on my own personal experience, kids function best when they're real clear about exactly what's expected of them in any given situation or under any particular set of circumstances.

Every year since he first began school, in the day or two prior to the beginning of each new school year, I've sat down with my son, who's now ten years old, to "lay down the law", so to speak, about exactly what I expected of him in school and to issue him his "marching orders" for the upcoming school year.

This year won't be any exception. Although my expectations for him haven't changed over the last several years, with a new school year about to begin, I've been thinking about them again in preparation for our annual talk together and thought I'd take a few moments to share them with you.

Here they are:

Expectation #1 - I expect him to behave himself and treat others as he'd like to be treated.

The first and single, most important thing I expect of him in school is to be polite, mind his manners, and treat others as he'd like to be treated.

All three elements of this expectation are very closely related and because he understands *why* they're important, he has no trouble whatsoever living up to them.

Here's why...

One summer day, shortly before he started school, we were driving somewhere (probably a toy store :-)), when, seemingly out of nowhere, he asked me what I knew about this "God thing", as he phrased it.

As simply as I could put it, I shared with him my personal belief...


That One is All and All is One. That one Intelligent Substance manifests itself as what appears to be many elements of the material world.

Simply put...

We're all made from the same Stuff, a Thinking Stuff.

After I finished my simplified explanation of this concept, he sat there quietly for a moment or two, staring out the car window, then he looked at me and said...

"Daddy, that makes sense!"

And, with "ah-ha" written all over his face, he added...

"So that's why you're always telling me to love my neighbor as myself and to treat other people the way I want to be treated, because we're all one, right Daddy?"

At age five...

He got it! 🙂

Expectation #2 - I expect him to do his best.

Unlike many, if not most, parents and teachers, I could care less what his grades in school are...


You should see the look on people's faces, especially his teachers, when I tell them this. 🙂

So, what do I expect?


I expect him to put everything he's got into everything he does and do the best work he can possibly do.

Throughout his writings, Wallace D. Wattles, best known for his classic masterpiece "The Science of Getting Rich", repeatedly stresses the importance of doing all you can do each day and doing each separate act in the most perfect
manner possible.

That's *exactly* what I expect of him!

If, every single day, he does *all* he can do that day and if, every single day, he does each separate thing he does in school in the most *perfect* manner possible, with the purpose of learning...

And that, in the opinion of his teachers and/or the school system, earns him an "A"...


If it earns him a "B"...


If it earns him a "C"...


If it earns him a "D"...


If it earns him an "F"...


I really don't care! 🙂


Because doing everything you can do each day and doing each separate thing you do in the most perfect manner possible with a purpose is the secret to success in anything and if he just learns this one lesson and applies it, he'll be successful in life regardless of what his grades in school are.

Expectation #3 - I expect him to have fun.

Life is meant to be fun, not a bore, and I expect him to have fun in school.


Please understand...

I don't expect him to be the "class clown" or a "wise guy".


I do expect him to look for ways to make his "work" fun.

If he learns how to make his "work" fun, he'll never have to "work" a day in his entire life.


There you have them...

My ten-year-old's "marching orders" for the upcoming school year.

In prior school years, because he's been very clear about exactly what I expected of him in school and because he's been very clear about exactly why I expected those things of him, he's never failed to live up to my expectations and make me very proud of him...

I don't expect this school year to be any different. 🙂


Tony Mase is a serious student of the works of Wallace D. Wattles and the publisher of the "A Powerful Life: The Lost Writings of Wallace D. Wattles" ebook by Wallace D. Wattles...

"A Powerful Life: The Lost Writings of Wallace D. Wattles"
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