May you walk in peace and may the light of love shine in and through you, now and forever
A QUOTE FOR THINKING ABOUT WHAT MATTERS: Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. Ovid
A STAYING STRONG TIP: No matter what your beliefs about a higher power, a day devoted to a simpler life is strengthening. To me that means thinking about what matters, , not spending money, not working on any commercial ventures, not using my beloved computer, turning off the cell phone, connecting with friends, nature, my G-d.
Create your own version, your life will improve.
STAYING STRONG TIP ADDED VALUE: One day a week without traveling; turning on the tv, radio, or computer; turning off your cell phone, practices kindness for our planet. Saves gas, reduces your carbon good print, might solve the energy crisis, stop the heating up of our planet. Try it you might like it.
STAYING STRONG FOR TIP FOR PARENTS: If your life does not include a day of rest, think about instituting at least some hours of rest. Do some for the family–a game night is a good way to start; a reading time where part of a novel gets read each night, a mandatory meal together. When we were foster parents sitting down for dinner with no tv and no telephone was mandatory five nights a week was required. You didn’t have to eat, you didn’t have to talk, you had to be there, and be moderately polite. One night was joke night, another our Shabbot. Those were the only two with any structure. We also had a family night out. Usually a fast food meal and a movie, but it could be bowling, ice-skating, a more special treat. There was a get your own dinner night. For the parents, each had a designated weekly night out.
A finally way we tried to get time for ourselves was a manditory quiet and in your room hour. Leave your room, or make noise, or call our names and you were not bleeding, you were punished. Most of our foster kids had sleep problems so watching tv–yes, each room had a small tv–no cable in those days–listen to the radio or read was allowed, but quiet had to prevail.
Parents also need some time of rest and quiet. That is why most experts on staying healthy say keep the television out of the bedroom. We do now, but did not when we were foster parents. I credit Johnnie Carson’s monologues with keeping us sane. I take out my hearing aid. David listens to the radio and I read or do puzzles.
Finally, the earlier you start the better. Teenagers are harder to woo into such times. A movie once a month may be the best you can manage. Still it will make a difference. When I ran the mental health crisis teams we had a Family Fun night every week. A snack type dinner, games, group talk. It was one of the things that got teens to spend time with their parents and siblings.
And yes, one of my ongoing cranks is how much harder it is on today’s parents to do these things. David and I were both at home and it was hard enough , but it was during those years our only job. So if you are working at more than being a parent, don’t guilt yourself if you can’t do as we did. Do try to kind some unconnected family time and the same for you. Start small and spread. Also if you have found ideas that get your family unconnected and spending quiet or play time together. Share. Same about how you have managed to carve out some of the same for just you.
PERSONAL UPDATE Back safely from road trip to see son and grandson. Joy of the visit much reduced because grandson came down with a strep throat and high fever. Joy that our son came. Some good times in the sun and sand. Watch for some pictures. Punky the Pup survived becoming a Roadie. Found a few places where he could be set free to run, run, run, run. Has to be tricked to get back in the car or get a leash on. But the wonderful thing about dogs is they love you even when they don’t like what you do and may growl with displeasure or fight a rule, but wag their tales and give you a kiss the next moment. Much like children.
How sad all the joy and the love gets restrained our young know gets eroded by life.
My book When Good Kids Do Bad Things will soon hit the electronic air waves. That should explain the Parent’s Staying Strong Tip in this post. I have revised my Parents Friend Blog. I will be spending time there as well as here sharing my ideas and hoping you will share yours. If you are or you know parents who want to see how other handle raising kids into today’s world as well as share what works or worked for you, please subscribe. The Parent’s Friend
I have almost unpacked everything and am getting ready for a much needed Shabbot. The Colorado grands will be visiting tomorrow. Stay strong, life is a struggle, raising kids often difficult. Remember to care, share, and practice kindness.
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