7 Alternatives to Punishment #1: Prevention

conscious positive parenting

Part of my mission is to help parents raise happy kids —
and have a loving and successful family.

The 7 Effective Alternatives to Punishment,
#1 You Are Not Alone

Inside this blog, you’ll discover the secrets to create a happier and more fulfilling relationship with your child.

Today’s post contains the FIRST effective alternative to punishment. Next week, I’ll post the second one.

The reason for one a week is so you can try out what you learn from this groundbreaking information. This allows you to see for yourself how well these parenting tips work.

Alternative to Punishment #1: Prevention

As the old saying goes; An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

That’s why child-proofing your life is as important as baby-proofing your space.

As a parent, I’m sure you’ve had moments when you “foresaw” a disaster that was about to occur. And if we take a moment to think about it, we can usually foresee other recipes for disasters.

Taking proactive steps to “prevent” these unnecessary stresses in your life, and the life of your child, will make a big difference in reducing the upsets in your family.

There are simple ways to use prevention.

If you know your child is going to get into the cookies, put them where he can’t reach or find them.

If giving your child a sweet dessert at night makes her stay up too late, then change your desserts habits.

If you don’t want your child getting onto your computer, then don’t make your computer so accessible for them; shut the door to your home office, or put the computer out of sight.

Planning ahead will save you SO MUCH time and energy. You’ll avoid cleaning up unnecessary messes. And you’ll avoid unnecessary upsets and needless stressing out.

Prevention is the perfect companion to Cultivating Non-Reaction.

Because often times, kids simply react to the environment you set up for them, you can set up the day to go smoothly, or be a chaotic mess. Especially if your children are similar in age, you’ll want to child-proof your house so there are duplicates of the same toys.

By having duplicates for multiple children, then there is less room for fighting over things. They’ll be less issues with sharing, because there will be two toys that are exactly the same.

When you make sure each child has the same toy; color, shape, type, everything, then you’ll be preventing a good portion of sibling rivalry.

Exercise in Prevention:

1. Tuck away anything that poses a possible hazard for your little one. Books, CD’s, Aunt Ida’s crystal vase, anything that you don’t want them touching or getting into.

Remember, this will reduce the likelihood of you losing your cool tenfold.

2. Next, do the same for anything that may make a mess … just put it out of reach.

Posted next will be “Alternative #2” of this special report, find out:

* How you can eliminate your parenting guilt in just a few simple steps (this only takes a second).

* The reason behind your toddler driving you crazy and how to prevent it.

* How a 2000 year-old practice can improve your child’s behavior and make a happier home.

* The biggest mistake you can make in disciplining your child.

You will be so much closer with your child when you start implementing these…

 

Like a fine wine we get better with age.

photo_1839_20060807On June 6th I turned 50 years old. 50 YEARS OLD! Like most other 50 years olds, I’m not sure how this happened – it feels like a blink of an eye. One day I’m a college girl, the next a young mother, and now one half a century old. How can I be 50? Most days I feel, think and act like a 24 year old, so I know it’s only a number, but when that AARP membership card arrives …

When I was growing up, I thought 50-year-old women were old; they were on the downside of life. Or were they???

I know I’m not the first half centurion to say age is only a number. We have to say that, right? Growing older can be a challenge. We must work hard at looking good, keeping our mind sharp, and maintaining our weight and health. Nothing comes naturally any more. But, to be honest, I truly feel the best I have felt in many years. I am stronger, more confident, much wiser, and doing work that I never dreamt possible. And, this transformation began at age 46! An age that most feel the best is behind them.

I think the reason I feel so great is because I never bought into ageism. Sure I joke about getting older, but I don’t really buy it! People always say 50 is the new 30, but if you look around it’s true. Middle age people are accomplishing more than ever before and doing it at later ages. Growing older does not mean it’s time to retire, I truly believe that it’s time to refire! Have you seen Roger Daltry, Mick Jagger, or Paul McCartney lately? At their age, they aren’t the grandpas I knew when growing up!

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Diane Gilman (you may know her from Home Shopping Network). When she was younger, Diane was a fashion industry “it girl”, but in later years she found herself at age 50, widowed, overweight, unemployed, and depressed. She created her DG2 brand, which was met with a negative response from fashion industry experts. She did not let that deter her and went on to create a brand that has sold more than 7 million pairs of jeans and leggings. Now, at age 66, her life is rewarding in every aspect possible.

My advice to you, don’t let age be a factor in your life. Don’t buy into ageism. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too old to embark on a new journey. Follow the example of so many people that have achieved greatness during the 2nd half of their life.

So … happy birthday to me (and to you)! To turning 50 years old I say, bring it on baby!

Whose voice is running in your head?

images-3We all have them; those voices in our head that cause fear and doubt and undermine our lives. Often, they are the voices of people who we trusted and felt safe around but betrayed that security, and in the process, created a life-long internal battle for our self-esteem. It could be the voice of a parent, love interest, or even a teacher or boss whose opinion you valued, and now their words hang over your heart. “Don’t eat that or you’ll get fat.” “Don’t bother trying that you’re not capable.”

I know those voices all too well.  Several years ago, after going through a difficult divorce, I lost my job of 12 years, and found myself raising three small children with no money.  For months I paid my bills with credit cards and when those ran out, I applied for welfare.  As I struggled through a downward spiral, voices from my past played like a broken record telling me that I wasn’t good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough.  That was until my best friend Lori called and told me she had stage four colon cancer.

I realized at that moment life was too short to listen to any voice other than mine.  I decided that whatever was playing in my head, and no matter who said it, it was time to erase the tape and live my beauty! When I did, my life changed dramatically.

So how do you erase and reprogram your positive inner dialogue…

Identify the negative and re-program the dialogue.

Write down all the negative inner dialogue that runs through your mind.  For each bit, answer this question: What was the true intent behind the statement, meaning, who made it and why? Here’s a story to help you get the gist of what I want you to do. . . .

I was working with a client shortly after her husband left her. After weeks of self-esteem coaching, she wanted to go shopping to create a new look that matched her new life. As a celebrity stylist and life coach it’s always fun to help women bring their inner beauty to life through a look that matches who they are.  After trying on several flattering outfits, however, she looked dejected and stared at the dressing-room floor.

“I have to tell you something,” she said. I braced myself because, by now, I’ve learned that clients who are making bold changes also confront even bigger fears. “I think my stomach looks terrible in all these clothes.”

“What?” I gasped. “You look incredible! You have a great body. Where is this coming from? What is the voice in your head saying exactly?”

“It’s my ex’s voice,” she confessed. “He told me that I was getting fat, and he didn’t want to have sex with me anymore.”

“What was his genuine intention behind that statement?” I asked.

“To hurt me, I guess.”

“So, it wasn’t true, right? He only said it to upset you. Do you see the difference?”

She nodded, and relief washed over her face. The inner voice that had damaged her so deeply wasn’t true, and now she saw it for what is was; a lie.

She stood up straighter and smiled, and I knew she was on her way to becoming a free woman.

Now it’s your turn to do this exercise so that you can finally be free of any shaming voices that hold you back. And even if the original intention was positive—as a way to protect you, for instance—the result may still be the same. This exercise enables you to observe this dialogue for what it truly is and no longer allow it to control you.

Clean Your Closet…And Get More Creative?

CC Image courtesy of Librarian by becaberry on Flickr
CC Image courtesy of Librarian by becaberry on Flickr

Living in my small, quaint, 1959-built house is cozy and I wouldn’t trade my house for anything (except maybe a similar version right on the beach when I retire). The only downside is that the closets are 1959-sized (read: very, very small).

I’ve overtook two of our three closets. The upside to having such small closets is that it forces you to do a purge every couple of years. As I just typed the word couple, I cracked up, since really, I hadn’t cleaned out my closet in five years until recently, tackling my closet purge when hubby JT was out of town. My closets were so stuffed that I couldn’t push multiple items on hangers around in them without shoulder strain. Ouch!

I turned on some good classic rock and began the process on a Saturday afternoon. I did the usual sorting into piles such as Donate, Toss, and Unsure. (I just make my Keep pile the clothes still hanging up in my closet, as I go through item by item.) At the end, I try on the Unsure pile’s items and usually, I end up putting them into the Donate pile. I even cleaned out my drawers.

I felt so good, which is the whole point. I now can easily find things like my Rolling Stones t-shirt or my favorite pair of yoga pants. I’ve experienced the expected feelings of relief from my closet purge, but with an unexpected benefit too. I’m more creative! 

I reason that it’s because I made more space for new things. A friend gifted me a cute jacket shortly after my closet purge. Yet, I didn’t realize that besides new, physical items that aspects or qualities I was desiring would come into my life as well. Whoa! This is interesting.

Inspiration has hit and I’ve been writing poems, song lyrics, and playing my guitar more. It’s hard to keep up with all the ideas that are downloading each day for my life, art, music, and business. I always carry a notebook with me to record them, so I don’t forget them. Creativity has expanded in every area of my life, including my writing, cooking, yoga practice, and even my beauty routine (ah, the joy of eye shadow palettes!). I am doing artwork again, using all my fun supplies. I even felt motivated to move my supplies from the basement into my upstairs office, finding innovative solutions for my small space.

It wasn’t until a month or so after that I made the connection between reducing my closet and increasing my creative flow. When I thought about it though, the connection makes sense. Feng Shui experts talk about how clutter prevents new things and conditions from coming into our lives. Law of attraction experts discuss how the universe abhors a vacuum and new things, people, or conditions have to come into our lives once we make space for them.

I asked my friend who is a decluttering professional what she thought about my recent creativity surge and she said something along these lines:  “Well, it’s all connected. If you feel good after you reduce your possessions and open up a space, you will do even more things that feel good.” This made me smile because my friend is down-to-earth and tells it like it is.

Gosh, it’s that simple? Okay, sign me up! I’m going declutter some more.

How about you? What benefits do you receive from cleaning out your closets or from decluttering? Share in the comments below.