Posts Tagged ‘Me in a Tree’
For many of us, the New Year means setting some personal resolution to better ourselves in some way or another. When we think resolutions, we often think along the lines of losing weight, exercising more or getting out of debt, but have you ever considered making a resolution to improve the lives of your whole family?
Making a family resolution means you can focus on “what really matters”. Not only will you improve your family, but your children will learn a lot about self discipline and the value of setting a goal.
Here are some tips on how to help your kids benefit from making resolutions:
1. In order for you and your family to set goals it might be a good idea to review what your family does well together and what you struggle with. By sitting down and identifying your strengths and weaknesses it will become easier to establish where you want to go. Meinatree.com has a 5 t0 10 minute assessment that will do this for you.
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season there are countless precious moments; quality time with family, fun family traditions, gift giving and also a time when people seem to be nicer and kinder to one another. It is also a perfect time to teach our children the art of gratitude.
Here are three easy ways to go about it:
Can you believe it’s April already!?! Where does the time go? Like many of you, we too are happy to see the signs of spring. A time of renewal. The sprouting plants, regrowth of trees, grass turning green and the birth of animals all around. We are taking this time of renewal throughout the month of April to focus on the family. The importance of family, what family is about and what it means to have a family.
April is full of important dates that focus on family from ‘Find A Rainbow Day’ on Sunday, April 3 to ‘National Siblings Day’ on Sunday, April 10 and we won’t be forgetting Easter, which is always a time to spend with family. This month we will endeavour to discuss family in relation to these special events and provide you with an inspirational morning read to enjoy with a cup of coffee and to give you something to think about throughout your day.
APRIL FOOLS DAY
Let’s start with today. April 1, 2011, otherwise known as April Fool’s Day. April Fools’ Day is celebrated all around the world. It is not a legal holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day that tolerates practical jokes and general foolishness.
It is believed that this day originates from a mistake made in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1392) announcing the anniversary of the engagement of King Richard II to Anne of Bohemia. The passage read ‘Syn March bigan thritty dayes and two‘. Chaucer probably meant 32 days after March, i.e. May 2, however, readers apparently misunderstood this line to mean “32nd of March,” i.e. 1st April.
Moving on, the importance of this day to family would be to teach your children how to play a practical joke with a good heart. Practical jokes should not be cruel or result in anyone being hurt physically or emotionally. A good practical joke can be funny to all concerned and lighten up everyone’s day.
Here are some harmless ideas!
Put a couple of drops of food colouring in your milk carton.
Wet your hand with water, pretend to sneeze, and sprinkle the water on someone.
Create a sponge cake from a real sponge. Colour it with markers and offer it to your friends.
The list goes on!
And finally we wanted to make you aware of some news we heard today. Facebook has been shut down and will no longer be in operation as of April 6, 2011.
“Children’s behavior, has it changed in the last thirty years?”, was the question thrown at me. Well, for me that is a tough question to answer as thirty years ago, I was still a kid myself……well, sort of. Without fully divulging my current age, I will admit to not being a full fledged adult yet. Nor was I a parent, so I probably wasn’t paying particularly close attention to “children’s behavior”.
However, from my perspective at the time, there were definitely certain expectations of children and if those expectations weren’t met there were consequences. Respect was of the utmost importance, we were to respect our elders and our peers. Children did not talk back and bad language was most definitely NOT tolerated. Excuse me and thank you were to be used at all times and family dinner was not optional. Basically we minded our P’s & Q’s (still not sure what that means other than, we darn well behaved ourselves or we would suffer). As an adult and parent in the year 2011 I now pay far more attention to children’s behavior and have to admit, I’m shocked more often than not with what children are allowed to get away with.
A group of people, including author Catherine Ryan Hyde, established the Pay It Forward Foundation www.payitforwardfoundation.org in 2000 to inspire students to realize they can change the world by performing an act of kindness towards another. Wikipedia’s definition of “Pay it Forward” is used to describe the concept of asking that a good turn be repaid by having it done to others instead.” In 2006 Oprah Winfrey www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Pay-It-Forward-Challenge-Stories_3 gave her October 26th studio audience $1,000 each and challenged them to spend it within one week, but they could only help charitable organizations or individual persons that were not related, thus, “Paying it ‘Forward”. And now it’s our turn! Me in a Tree is “Paying it Forward”! Non-profit and charitable organizations will benefit from your monthly subscription payment by receiving a portion of your payment Paid Forward to them by Me in a Tree. Imagine if multiple families in your church, club or organiztion were to become members of Me in a Tree and a portion of all those subscription fees were Paid Forward. WOW! What a difference it could make! We encourage you to send the name of your organization as well as contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org today so we can get the ball rolling. Let’s go be GREAT!
It’s a New Year and a great time to set some fresh new goals for yourself and show your kids how they can do the same. Children live by example and what better example than to set yourself a goal, follow through and encourage them to do the same.
Here are some things to bear in mind when helping your children set goals.
- Start by sitting down with your children and explain what a goal is. A four or five year old is quite capable of understanding the concept of a goal. Explain, a goal is something positive that we want and are willing to work to achieve or obtain it. Most kids are new to this and may need some direction and support.
- Teach your child to visualize the outcome. Ask your child to close their eyes and imagine what their life will be like when they achieve their goal. Maybe they want to be more successful at school and come home with a better report card, maybe they want to be a stronger skater or have a healthier body. Ask them, “What will you be doing to achieve your goal?”. “How do you think you will feel during and after you’ve achieved it?” “What will this bring you?”
- Talk to your child about the reason/s why? “Why do you want this?” “Why do you want to do better in school, or be a better skater?”. Until they really understand why they want this and how it will make their life different, the goal is harder to achieve.
As one year ends and a New one begins, many people start talking and thinking about making New Year’s resolutions. We make resolutions to lose weight, exercise more or spend less, but are these the most important to you? How many of us take the time to really evaluate our families and set goals to grow together and become more connected. I challenge you to start 2011 by considering the ones you love most. Your family.
Have you dreamed of a family vacation, contemplated making a difference in your community by volunteering as a family or even thought about the impact sitting down on a regular bases to enjoy a meal together would make? The Me in a Tree goal application can help you achieve all this and more by helping you determine your goals and track your progress as well. This is one of the many applications Me in a Tree has to offer. Check it out!
I wish you all the success you strive for in 2011.
A survey by Studentawards Inc., a Toronto marketing and scholarship firm, has found that family is extremely important to young people. Spending time with family was one of the top priorities for the 2,500 high school and post-secondary students from across Canada who participated in the survey. In a press release on newswire.ca, Studentawards Inc. expressed surprise at the results, indicating that family may be more important to today’s kids than generally believed.
Another school year is over and kids are packing their bags to head off for a week or more at camp. It’s exciting but nerve-wracking too, for parents and kids. The biggest concerns for many are homesickness and just plain missing one another.
Happily, you can keep your family bond strong when you’re separated. The following tips will help you stay connected even while you’re apart so everyone can have a great summer.
- Share your plans. Before everyone heads off in a different direction, talk to one another about what you’ll be doing. Kids may feel more comfortable if they can picture what mom and dad are doing while they’re away.
- Prepare for being apart. Talk to your children about what homesickness is and why it happens. Explain that it can happen to anyone and give ideas for getting over it, like joining an activity or talking to a friend or counselor.
- Pack a calendar. Mark the date you’ll see each other again on your Me in a Tree calendar, print it out and send it with your child for a daily reminder that you’ll be together again.